Column: Volunteers make Holiday Home Tour possible


History is about to repeat itself….for the seventeenth time.

And although it is easy to assume the Carmel Clay Historical Holiday Home Tour just happens each year, history gets a little help. Actually, a tremendous amount of effort comes from a relatively small band of committee members who have been diligently planning for the big day coming up onDec. 6 and Dec. 7.

Ginny Terpening is the chairperson for the event, having been a Home Tour attendee before turning into a volunteer.

“I was one of the people who bought a ticket years ago, and now for the last four years I have served on the committee,” she said.

For the past 3 years Terpening has led the planning process.

Judy Huber is the first volunteer most people come in contact with. She is in charge of reservations and has been doing it a long time, according to Terpening. Judy fields all of the phone calls, gets the payments in and makes sure the check-in process goes smoothly.

It’s a big job, but one being assisted with the help of technology as new systems are implemented.

This year may mark the first time a special award is given for the volunteer with the most grit. Peg Durrer fell recently and broke her leg, but she is expected to make an appearance at the Tour.

Appearance or not, she has not lost the ability to use her cell phone, and she is clearly continuing on with her duties. She is responsible for the food element of the Tour which is available during the Friday and Saturday evening tours for $40.00 per ticket.

Without Betty Estridge, there would be no cooked food. She runs the kitchen with drill team precision.

“She creates the menu which always includes unique recipes. Everybody listens when Betty speaks and the food is always perfect,” Terpening said.

The man who calls buyers to the auction will be Don Gross. Joined by Fred Hecker and Debbie Gangstad who also works on sponsorships and finding homes for the tour, Gross has lined up a remarkable variety of auction items. The list includes antique chairs, holiday baskets, books and paintings by local artists.

Jan Randall, Mary Cage and Joyce Rogers fill out the balance of the committee providing office support, elbow grease and enthusiasm.

These devoted volunteers all work under the watchful eye of historical society executive director Katherine Dill.

To enjoy history up close and see the work of talented volunteers call 587-1017.

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