The Way I See It

By Maureen Gainer Reilly, BAPA Board President   

On Sun., May 20, we saw yet another successful BAPA Home Tour where over 800 visitors, both local and Citywide, were treated to a look inside five unique, fabulous homes in our beautiful neighborhood.   

I am overwhelmed at the amount of people in Beverly Morgan Park who share their time, talent and treasure to support BAPA.   

For over a decade local rock star volunteers Kathy Sanders and Katie Durkin have run the event along with BAPA staff member Grace Kuikman. This small but mighty team coordinated over 130 (yes, 130!) volunteers who worked the tour. A special thanks to those who return year after year to support the event like the Morgan Park Juniors, the Beverly Juniors, the Beverly Hills Garden Club and a couple groups of friends who have been working houses together for ages. These fabulous groups are in addition to the five generous (and brave) homeowners who open their doors for hundreds of people to stream through their properties.   

In addition to raising funds to support BAPA’s programming there are other benefits of the tour that are harder to quantify; a young couple who decides to buy here, new patrons for the businesses on the tour, renovations for local contractors after people are inspired by creative ideas, and, most importantly,  the opportunities for connection and community.   

This event was manned by volunteers of all ages, races, religious affiliations and neighborhood areas and this is a testament to the team that has built this into an iconic event for all of Beverly/Morgan Park.  Our beautiful houses and area architecture define the tour but the real stars are the people who make the Home Tour so welcoming and who bring it alive.  The nurse who yelled out, “You all passed your stress test!” to the guests when they made it up the steep hill on Longwood Drive, the docent who told us about a family of raccoons that ate through the walls of one house, and the lively stories of an owner’s aunt in the state department who was kidnapped twice but still managed to bring back the artifacts on display we all got to enjoy.   

Thank you Kathy, Katie, Grace; the talented Home Tour committee that includes Robin Harmon, Molly Sullivan, Michele Pettiford, Anne O’Shea, Chanelle Rogers and Gael Mennecke; and the 130 volunteers and homeowners who make me Love Where I Live!