I joined the American Association of University Women 10 years ago because I enjoyed attending the AAUW Scholarship Home Tour so much that I wanted to be part of it and become better acquainted with all the wonderful women who organized it.
Once I understood that the Home Tour is AAUW’s primary fundraiser for scholarships, I really threw myself into the effort. I’ve held many committee positions, chaired the event in 2006, and remain very involved. It’s satisfying volunteer work for a cause I believe in and the day culminates in an enjoyable afternoon for hundreds of tour-goers. What better way to spend time with friends than seeing beautifully decorated homes? We all leave with great, fresh ideas.
With spring underway, the AAUW home selection committee has begun previewing homes for this fall’s Home Tour. They are seeking homes in Hinsdale, Burr Ridge, Clarendon Hills and Oak Brook. Five or six homes are featured each year during the Home Tour and your home could be one of them.
Over the years, I’ve seen many wonderful homes. The selection committee does not have a set criterion for choosing homes, but seeks out a variety of new and not-so-new and large and not-so-large homes. Past selections have included large, new homes and historic “painted ladies” to smaller, farm homes and cozy cottages.
Some volunteer their homes because they’d like to showcase the unique architectural or interior design of their homes. But without exception, homeowners cite their support of the AAUW scholarship program as the top reason for volunteering their homes. The Home Tour raises funds for scholarships for local senior girls from District 86 and adult women returning to college. All homeowners are given complimentary tickets to the tour.
Past homeowner participants have found the experience very rewarding and relatively painless. Once a home is selected, the owner will schedule one or two meetings with various Home Tour committee members. Volunteers compile written descriptions of the home based upon homeowner input and a local florist is assigned to each home to plan finishing touches for tour day. Activity slows until the day before the tour when each home is open for a one hour “dress rehearsal.” On tour day, homes are open for viewing by ticket holders from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and homeowners are asked to be away from home during those hours.
The AAUW Scholarship Home Tour is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 2, 2011. It has enjoyed the success it has for 60 years because of the support of very generous homeowners and community businesses. Please consider being part of the excitement by allowing your home to be featured in this year’s Home Tour.
For more information or to volunteer your home, please contact Cyndee Prisby, 630-323-9732 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.