info@alleghenywest.org
806 Western Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15233

Old Allegheny Victorian Christmas House Tour

The 2019 Tour is quickly approaching! The tour dates are Friday December 13th and Saturday December 14th. The tour committee is thrilled to share that we currently have ALL houses for the tour! Thank you to all of the homeowners. The tour committee will be reaching out to you concerning expectations, as well as to answer questions. We are  available for anything you need, even a hand for decorating.

Beech Avenue will be closed to traffic during the tour. Parking will be open to Allegheny West residents in the lower Babb parking lot starting on Friday the 13th at 4:00 pm and continuing through the tour on Saturday. Please keep our tour guests safe and utilize this lot. For residents who park on N Lincoln, please consider parking in the Babb lot as well to clear the street during the tour.

New This Year: Carriage Rides

This year we will be offering horse-drawn carriage rides for an additional fee during the Saturday afternoon tours (weather permitting).

Volunteers Needed

SWAG BUILDING AND HANGING
Saturday, December 7th (Cathy and Gene’s Garage) starting at 9: 00 am, coffee and donuts provided. We need a few (actually several) good men to help hang – please consider lending your time and ladders.

TRAIN TOURS
We will need volunteers for the train tours. A link will be sent in upcoming email blasts or if you are interested, please contact Cecile Canales at ccanales13@icloud.com.

TOUR GUIDES
Tour guide* sign up shifts now available. Doug Sprague leading the effort again this year. A link will be sent in upcoming email blasts. If you’re interested, you can contact contact Doug directly at doug.osrg@gmail.com.

* Please note, tour guides are required to do a tour route walkthrough. Check future email blasts for walkthrough schedule.

GUEST GREETERS/TOUR ANNOUNCERS
We will need tour announcers and guest greeters at Calvary during tour times. Brandon Williams will be leading the volunteer sign-up for this. Please check future email blasts for schedule opportunities or contact Brandon at brandonpwilliams@hotmail.com.

Thank you all for your participation and we’re looking forward to another successful tour!

Christmas Tour 2019

Remember the dates are set for this year’s Christmas Tour: Friday, December 13th and Saturday, December 14th.

The planning process has begun. Much of the tour will remain as in past years, with Calvary UMC as the starting point (with an antique and vendor show!) and concluding at Holmes Hall with the Train Tour available to guests. The tour committee is actively seeking houses to be on tour. If you would like to offer your home, or to get more information about what is involved in being on tour, please contact Carol Gomrick or Annette Trunzo.

Please continue to check the weekly eNewsletters and the monthly Gazette for updates, committee meetings and volunteer opportunities.

Carol Gomrick: carolgomrick@gmail.com | Annette Trunzo: act1@pitt.edu

Christmas Tour 2019

“The sun is shining, the grass is green” … and you’re now humming “White Christmas,” right?! It’s the perfect time to begin planning to welcome revelers to our neighborhood to kick off the holiday season!

The dates are set: Friday, December 13th and Saturday, December 14th. The planning process has begun. Much of the tour will remain as is past years, with Calvary UMC as the starting point (with an antique and vendor show!) and concluding at Holmes Hall with the Train Tour available to guests.

The tour committee is actively seeking houses to be on tour. If you would like to offer your home, or to get more information about what is involved in being on tour, please contact Carol Gomrick or Annette Trunzo.

Please continue to check the weekly eNewsletters and the monthly Gazette for updates, committee meetings and volunteer opportunities.

Carol Gomrick: carolgomrick@gmail.com
Annette Trunzo: act1@pitt.edu

Allegheny West Christmas Tour – Help Needed

Submitted by Carol Gomrick

Save the Date!

The annual AWCC Christmas Tour will be held on December 7th and 8th. Please consider putting your home on the tour – we are still in need of two houses. If you’re willing and able, kindly contact Carol Gomrick at carolgomrick@gmail.com.

Important Dates Leading into the 2018 Tour

Wednesday November 14th | 7:00 pm
Christmas Tour General Meeting | 940 W North Avenue

Saturday, December 1st | 9:00 am
Swag bundling / Hanging | Cathy Serventi & Gene Wilson’s house at 851 Beech Avenue
(Enter via Dounton Way.)

Friday, December 7th and Saturday, December 8th
The Tour

Reminder

Beech Avenue will be closed during the tour. Residents can park at the lower Babb, Inc. Parking lot starting at 4:00 pm for off-street parking.

Volunteers Needed

TOUR GUIDES
Doug Sprague is leading the charge to sign up tour guides. Please reach out to Doug (doug.osrg@gmail.com) with questions. Please consider signing up for a shift (or three)!

TRAIN TOUR
We are in need of train volunteers for Friday, December 7th and Saturday, December 8th. If interested, please contact Cecile Canales (ccanales2@comcast.net) or sign up at http://goo.gl/M5A4Km

CHURCH VOLUNTEERS
Help with crowd and tour control. Contact Brandon Williams: brandonpwilliams@hotmail.com

RUNNERS
Deliver meals and assist homeowners with any needs. (Contact Carol)

SET-UP
Set up and take down luminaria at the homes that are on tour. (Contact Carol)

Allegheny West Christmas Tour Kickoff Meeting

There will be a meeting to start planning the annual Christmas tour on September 20th at 7:00 pm. The meeting will be held at Carol and Brett’s house at 940 W North Avenue. Anyone interested in volunteering is encouraged to attend. Homeowners interested in having their house on the tour should e-mail Carol at carolgomrick@gmail.com.

Wrap Up of the 36th Annual Christmas Tour

Submitted by Carol Gomrick

Was it smell of fresh pine from the recently hung swags in the neighborhood? Was it the bright blue skies contrasting with the chill in the air? Was it the sound of Dr. Dan’s leaf blower wiping out every trace of fall on Beech Ave? It was that and so much more which marked the coming of the 36th Annual Christmas Tour. This year, almost 1,600 people ushered in their Christmas season by walking through the lovingly decorated homes of Allegheny West. The weather was perfect, the glitches were few, and—if I dare say—by all accounts, the tour was a great success. As my first time managing the Christmas tour, I cannot thank everyone who stepped in and stepped up to make daunting tasks seem easy and the unintentionally overlooked details, a non-issue. It is truly because of you that the tour was such a success.

A very special thank you goes to the homeowners. I received a lot of feedback a how impressed the guests were with the homes this year. One guest, who has taken the tour over 15 times, actually took the time to email me directly to share that she thought 2017 was the best selection of homes she has visited to date. No doubt this guest and others came to this conclusion in no small way by the decorations at the Flashlight Factory. The re-purposing of flashlight pieces and parts was beyond ingenious, and such a tremendous addition to the tour. Congratulations to John Engle and Tom Cihil on tackling the after party. A lot of people needed some extra sleep on Sunday, so it was a great success! I would be completely remiss if I didn’t thank Tony and Diane Caruso. You both seem to always be there to jump in whenever needed and for whatever needs done. The list of how you both helped on this tour is too long to write, but beyond appreciated. Thank you.

I have to share that this tour was not without its challenges. It was the first time a service dog was on the tour. The homeowners were made aware in advance and all agreed they would accommodate. However, none of us expected a Great Dane! I should have taken pictures.

There are so many stories from the tour. Two are from the “Great Beech Ave Clean Up of 2017”. I’ll never forget Dr. Dan leaping through Beech Ave (with the greatest of ease), wielding his leaf blower like a warrior’s sword going into battle. Those leaves didn’t have a chance! OK, I’m using some dramatic license, but I’ll never be able to convince my mind’s eye from seeing a cape flowing behind him as he valiantly traveled up and down Beech Ave! My fondest memory is also from that day (not just because of Dr. Dan). Many saw Gloria Raymond and myself chipping away and cursing at the leaves stuck to the street. Trying to remove them was a formidable task. One by one, people stopped their cars, opened their front doors and came out with shovels, spades and whatever was needed to get the street cleaned and we did. The spirit of Christmas and the spirit of this neighborhood shined brightly that day. It will be forever etched in my memory as to what made this tour and what makes this neighborhood so special.

I hope you all enjoyed the holidays and I wish the blessings of the season to carry through for you in 2018.

Please contact me (carolgomrick@gmail.com) with any feedback for how to improve the tour for 2018.

Old Allegheny Victorian Christmas House Tour

The Tour is shaping up for December 8th and 9th. Here are the updates:

  1. Flyers are going into the mail. A big thanks to Trish Burton for coordinating the effort…once again, it went off like clockwork. Thanks also to Greg Coll for designing and managing the printing. The flyers are lovely.

    A big thank you from Carol and Trish to all who helped put address labels on the 8008 (!) postcards that we’ll be sending to advertise the tour. A special thanks to Quentin Lane and Charlie and Eli Sweeney for giving up homework time to help us set a new record! We have extra postcards available should anyone want to distribute to coworkers and friends, or to post on community bulletin boards.
  2. Next up, putting the swags together. We’ll be meeting at Cathy and Gene’s house on December 2nd at 9:00 am Please come and help. The swags help make the entire neighborhood look so special for the tour guests. In addition to putting them together, we’ll be looking for volunteers to help hang the swags.
  3. We’re still on the hunt for the final house. Please consider joining the tour this year. Contact Carol ASAP at carolgomrick@gmail.com.
  4. If you haven’t signed up to volunteer yet, please reach out to Doug Sprague at doug.osrg@gmail.com
  5. There are so many people who continue to help behind the scenes to make the tour successful every year. Thank you for your efforts and support!

Old Allegheny Victorian Christmas House Tour

It’s time to start thinking about this year’s Old Allegheny Victorian Christmas House Tour.

This year’s tour will take place on December 8th and 9th. We are looking for homeowners who are willing to open their homes for this year’s tour. If you’re interested and able, please contact Carol Gomrick at carolgomrick@gmail.com.

Information about volunteering for the event will be coming out after this month’s Alleys, Axles & Ales tour on September 23rd. Stay tuned to the calendar and e-newsletter to learn about the kickoff meeting for this year’s tour volunteers.

Above & Beyond

Volunteer PartySince this is the month of the Christmas tour, if I wrote the Above & Beyond that managed to recognize everyone who helps out with the tour, the newsletter would have to be 20 pages long. Carrie Doyle, our Ways and Means chair, wrangles hundreds of volunteers to make the tour happen. An incredible amount of work goes into managing the tour, so thank you to the:

  • homeowners
  • folks who answer the phones & handle the tickets
  • guides
  • train museum volunteers
  • volunteers at the houses
  • greeters and volunteers at Calvary Church
  • folks who handle the luminaria
  • bundlers and hangers of greens (shout out to the crew of the show Manhunter who hung some of the greens this year because of their filming on Beech Ave)
  • maker of 50+ holly pins for the tour guides
  • hosts and volunteers for the volunteer party (very meta)
  • booklet designer (Thanks Greg!) and the folks who solicited ads and grants from local businesses
  • folks who cleaned up the streets and the neighbors who moved their cars

We literally couldn’t have done it without you! (Hope you had an awesome time at the volunteer part at Mitchell & Elaine’s).

2016 Old Allegheny Victorian Christmas House Tour: Our 35th Year!

Submitted by Carrie Doyle

As I write this, it’s a cold night – 30 degrees to be exact – and I’ve just returned from the Tour Guide training for this year’s tour. This month’s Gazette will be printed post-tour but I wanted to take a moment to reflect and to thank many of you in advance of a busy weekend. A big thank you to Trish Burton, Gloria Rayman, Cathy Serventi, John DeSantis and Carole Malakoff for their words of wisdom and knowledge from the many years of producing such a wonderful tour.

Additionally, Doug Sprague (guides), Brandon Williams (greeters), Mary Ann Murphy & Cecile Canales (trains), Martin Fuess (Christmas Shoppe), Greg Coll (photos, brochure and mailer), Nonie Knauss (house sitters). Of course – our homeowners, too: Clayton Harris, Mark & Kimberly Moore, Carole & Bob Malakoff, Nick Duerlinger & Hal Dixler, Q Development and John DeSantis. I hope to have finalized numbers for January’s Gazette, and a more detailed thank you list as well! Until then, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!