Shall we do it again? That was the decision facing the Executive Director and members of the Board of Governors of the Chestnut Hill Center for Enrichment last spring. It was a successful fundraiser in November, 2012; would it be again? After some discussion, the board voted to do it!
Thus the planning began in May – we needed six homes with lovely kitchens, six chefs from area restaurants, and sponsors (as many as we could get!). After all those necessary ingredients were gathered and after months of planning, we opened the doors on Saturday, November 16, to hand out tickets that had been reserved and to sell some new ones!
Just as last year, it came together in a huge and happy way – anyone who visited the kitchens could feel the buzz that was going on among chefs, volunteers, homeowners and the paying public! It happened only because many gave their time and energy to see it through!
First and foremost, are our five generous sponsors, all of whom have supported us in our past endeavors. Many thanks to Bowman Properties, our Platinum Sponsor; Chestnut Hill Hospital and Pennsylvania Trust, our Gold Sponsors; and National Penn Bank and Valley Green Bank, our Silver Sponsors for believing in us.
The various committees met weekly in the months preceding the Tour. Thanks must go to the Steering Committee: Andrea Imperatore, Kathy Shaifer, Patricia Cove, Eileen Newcomb, and Grace Stewart. The Volunteers’ Committee was chaired by Kathy Shaifer and working with her were Lois Gaskins, Esther Kurtz, and Eleanor Murdoch; thank you to the volunteers that this committee identified – approximately 50 willing workers, including CHCE board members. Captains were an essential part of the event, so thanks must go to Sue Davis, MJ Fischer, Janet Lochner, Nelia Rosqueta, Susan Bray, and Wendy Liebling. Thank you to Joanne Dhody for the design and graphic skills that produced a signature “Save the Date” card, and an outstanding program; also to Kate O’Neill for being the liaison between chefs and homeowners and securing all the biographical and descriptive information and photos of houses and chefs that were needed for the brochure. Early on the day of the event, all signage and balloons – which helped lead guests to the homes – were delivered and placed by Cathy Glazer and Ilene Ogando Cohen.
Thank you, as always, to the entire CHCE Board of Governors which was 100% supportive.
Chefs from six area restaurants and caterers were an integral part of the event. Kudos and thanks to Tracey Wolfson of Bacchus Market and Catering, Vanessa and Rob Mullen of Campbell’s Place, Al Paris of Heirloom, Gerard Strenger and Kathlyn Egan of Tavern on the Hill, Glenn Bergman of Weavers Way Cooperative, and Trevor Elliott and Chris Simpson of Wine Thief.
All floral arrangements – yes, I said all – were designed to match the table settings at each home by Melissa Palmer of Florum Flowers from the Market at the Fareway (formerly the CH Farmers’ Market). Not only did she design the arrangements, but she also visited homes to meet the owners and to decide what flowers would work best—with consideration of both the home as well as the table settings. The results were spectacular.
Thanks to Barbara Sherf for her help in getting the word out so that everyone would know of the event and to Antonelli Institute for its help with photography on the day of the event! Thanks also to Paula Riley for the article she wrote for the Life on the Hill magazine! Thanks also are due to Greg Welsh for going above and beyond as we neared the Big Day!
The pumpkins that identified each house were graciously supplied by Maple Acres Farms!
Our ticket pick-up station was Stagecrafters Theater – thanks to the Board of Directors for allowing us to use their lovely and centrally-located space.
Thanks to Mary Zell, Executive Director of the CHCE, for ALWAYS bring there when needed. Of course, thanks to those who came to enjoy and taste their way through the event. It truly was a community coming together!!
Finally and most importantly, there is a HUGE THANK YOU to the homeowners (all six of them) who gave us their kitchens and their homes in support of this event.
Marilyn M. Paucker
Board of Governors