Submitted by Carol Gomrick

The chill in the air did not deter guests from attending nor their spirit during the 2018 Christmas Tour. This year was a tremendous success. We sold over 1,500 tour tickets and over 300 train tour tickets. The tour boasted a special treat for several groups Saturday afternoon when the president of CCAC, Dr. Quintin B. Bullock, came into his office and allowed guests to view the grandeur of the Byers wing of Byers Hall. Quite often guests shared how excited they were about the homes on the tour and what a great experience they had visiting our neighborhood. The showing of Byers Hall made real for so many the history they hear on the tour about the once magnificent Millionaires’ Row and a greater appreciation of how important is is to not lose any more of our history.

As many know as recently as mid-November, we were a few homes shy and running out of options. Once again the neighborhood came together to bring Christmas early to so many. I really need to express a special thanks to the homeowners who are the the real heroes. The Moore and Beer families, the Malakoffs, Hal and Nick, and of course John DeSantis – thank you for your hard work and welcoming so many people (and a dog) into your homes! Special thanks to Amelia Beer. Several tour groups were treated to and impressed by Amelia’s violin playing.

The tour guides were incredible again this year! So many guests shared with me how knowledgeable and engaging or guides were this year. I received a special email from one attendee “Sally”. She was so impressed with Thomas Huygens she just had to share her impression – “Outstanding 2018 tour … Our guide a young man named Thomas was absolutely fabulous. He was very conscientious about all aspects of the tours … thank you for making our 11th tour one of the best ever!” High praise indeed especially for a veteran tour guest like Sally and knowing the bar is high with all of the other tremendous docents!

Thank you to Rev Larry, Martin, and Doug for all of their efforts at Calvary. It makes such a difference to have such a welcoming place to greet the guests!

This is my last tour as Ways and Means chair. The baton is being handed over to the capable hands of Annette Trunzo. So many of you have been incredibly generous with your time and support over the past two years, there are no words to express my heartfelt thanks. The tours with all of their twists and turns never fail to remind me of how blessed I am to be a part of such a wonderful community and though my term as Ways and Means has come to an end, I look forward to staying involved with the tours in 2019.

Happy New Year to you all and congratulations on completing another successful tour season!