Wednesday, January 30, 2008
This year’s honoree was April Stefel, who for more than 20 years has volunteered her time and expertise for the benefit of our District. A licensed landscape architect, April designed a scheme in 1987 for planting of street trees throughout the District with varieties appropriate for each street. She supervised the purchase and planting of the trees in phases over several years as the historic district was able to raise funds for the project with revenues from house tours. This work in progress will continue with another phase upcoming in spring of 2008. The project has benefited us all not only by making our streets more attractive and enjoyable but also by raising our property values. April has also opened her home to visitors for 5 of our house tours and for many years cooked and hosted at our progressive dinners. Since 2005 April has been employed as a professional planner for the city, and in that capacity managed the Green Brook Multi-Use Trail and did the State and National Register nominations for Cedar Brook Park and Green Brook Park.
Of course, our annual Twelfth Night Progressive Dinner is always a wonderful occasion, and this year’s, on January 12th, was spectacular! Thanks to our hosts—Barbara and Gordon Fuller, Debbie and Maurice Flynn, Vee and Joseph DeMeyer, and Holly Ferguson—and to our new Cooking Club, which organized the menu and of course to the many volunteers who contributed their time, effort, and culinary skills.
Our December 9th Christmas House Tour was a smashing success, with nearly 500 people visiting 11 homes. Highlights included Christmas carols sung by area girl scouts as well as two fully-costumed Santas (Lamont Blowe and Arne Aakre) greeting neighborhood visitors, and Corona the horse provided by Vicki Blasucci for her carriage house. Our eleven homeowners and tour committee volunteers who kept up their Christmas Spirit since planning began in May did a spectacular job in pulling together this substantial event. Part of the tour proceeds were contributed to “Homefirst.” a Plainfield organization providing emergency housing and supportive services to those in need. We’re also grateful to the City for its help with security and with pre-tour street cleanup.