National Volunteer Week: The Hudson Country Homes Tour
PHOTO BY KELLY MIYAMOTO
Cody Gilmore credits her mother Shelagh, in the photo she’s holding next to her husband Bob Gilmore, with teaching her the importance of volunteering.
This June, the Hudson Country Homes Tour will be celebrating its 63rd anniversary. The tour is organized every year by determined and passionate volunteers and the funds raised go towards benefiting many different charitable organizations.
During the months leading up to the event, hundreds of volunteers cooperate in incredible displays of teamwork and coordination to ensure the day of the tour goes well. Groups of volunteers gather flowers, which are then pieced together in beautiful floral arrangements which also serve as part of the decoration and staging in each home on the tour. Some prepare food for a luncheon held at St. James' Church and others spend time during the tour at the homes themselves, greeting visitors and making sure everything runs smoothly. The efforts of all involved in making this event successful are commendable, as are those who kindly open up their homes for viewing.
April showers bring timely flowers
Preparations depend on good weather not only on the day of the tour, but in the months ahead in order to have a healthy and bountiful growth of flowers on time. This winter has been lingering with snow still on the ground and some freezing rainfall. Still, fingers are crossed for a speedy transition to improved weather and a proper growing season in which gardens can thrive and provide the many varieties of flowers used in arrangements during the event, some of which include lupines, lilacs, and Sweet William.
"It's never too late to volunteer," said volunteer Cody Gilmore, who has been working with the tour on and off for 40 years and managing the luncheon for the past six. Cody was nominated by the Hudson Home Tour team for everything she does for the event every year.
“I'm really honoured,” Cody told The Journal. “I'm embarrassed about this because I like volunteering and it's a lot of fun to volunteer and it’s because of my mom. She died just last summer and I'm really honoured that she taught me how to volunteer, and that's the important thing.”
Anyone wanting to help out can contact tour co-conveners Marilyn Pound and Linda Cobbett at email@example.com. "You can't get by without volunteers," Cody added. "Everybody needs to help somebody, you know?"
Since its beginnings, the Hudson Country Homes Tour has grown into an event that continues to draw in hundreds of people each year, including a devoted recurring base. Cody is grateful to all who attend. "It's really nice to see people year after year," she said, "and then other people you've never met, but they are all so excited to have been on the tour."
Proceeds benefit a multitude of organizations, including the Primate's World Relief and Development Fund, La Passerelle Women's Shelter, St. Michael's Mission, Old Brewery Mission, NOVA Hudson, Tyndale St-Georges Community Centre, Vaudreuil-Soulanges Palliative Care Residence, West Island Palliative Care Residence, Mile End Mission, Le Pont/Bridging Food Bank, and more.
The Old and the New
Tour-goers this year can expect a wonderful variety of homes for viewing, including century-old homes as well as brand new ones.
"Everybody will get a taste of everything," Cody said with a smile.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for ticket information or with any and all questions about the tour.