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Home Tour distributes near-record funds to participating charities
Administrators and volunteers from eight area charities were delighted on November 11 when officials of the SML Charity Home Tour distributed proceeds checks totaling $155,305, one of the highest payouts in Tour history and a significant jump from the past two years.
“This represents a combination of $120,000 in proceeds from the Tour event itself plus over $35,000 from the New Crusty Minstrels concert that also benefited Home Tour charities,” said Tour CEO Bill Piatt as the check presentation began.
“The Charity Home Tour is especially remarkable for the combination of its fund-raising ability and the way it brings the SML community together,” Piatt added. “Everyone who volunteers makes new and lasting friendships with neighbors from the lake area. It is an exceptional community-builder.” Over 1100 volunteers are involved with planning and staging the event each year.
Piatt also acknowledged the homeowners who opened their homes to some 2000 visitors on Tour weekend as well as multiple visits from members of assorted planning committees. “Without their generosity and tireless preparation, there could be no Tour,” he said. Homeowners in attendance were introduced to enthusiastic applause.
In the Tour’s 23 year history, 250 lake-area homes have been featured and over $3.7 million has been distributed to area charities.
Charities tell how funds get used
The meeting to celebrate the 2013 Tour’s success, held at Bethlehem United Methodist Church in Moneta, included an opportunity for a representative of each charity to explain how Tour proceeds would benefit needy lake-area residents. Among plans mentioned were meeting critical operating expenses, funding new programs, helping new mothers learn to be good mothers, feeding hungry families and providing medical care to the underinsured. The commentary was greeted with warm applause, smiles and more than a few tears from the assembled Tour officials, homeowners, committee members and charity volunteers.
“SML is a stunningly beautiful place loaded with stunningly beautiful people,” Piatt noted after one especially-emotional story of caring was told. “How people take tend to the need of others around here is truly remarkable.”
“This is when you realize that all the hard work over the past year has been really worth it,” commented Sharon Jones, who as the Tour’s VP, Charity Administration, worked closely with charity administrators and volunteers throughout.
Planning is already underway for the next SML Charity Home Tour, which will be held on Columbus Day weekend, October 10-12, 2014.