We raised almost $5K as a community together, with the 10th Anniversary of the Architectural and Real Estate House Tour in Short Hills! The proceeds for this successful event will be given to the Millburn Township Public School’s Board of Education and slated for the Director of Special Services, Jennifer Sowa. She is a great supporter of the tour and loves to attend! She uses the money to send key district professionals to the Autism, NJ conferences. I’m grateful for that, and for Autism NJ for what I’ve learned at their conferences. I think it’s so important for our schools to be privileged with many knowledgeable behaviorist, psychologists, and educators alike for the kids in our schools. Some of the courses that have been offered at these conferences were, “Mental Health Issues, Facing 21st-Century Learners”, “Managing Obsessive Compulsive Symptoms in Youth with High Functioning Autism”, and “Assessment and Treatment of Anxiety and Trauma”. Those are just a few of the offerings from these important conferences by Autism NJ.
As I welcomed people into my personal home to pick up the tour map, I had the opportunity to show them little bits and pieces of improvement that my design build architect husband, Matthew Rosenbaum, created for our family. That was the official start of the tour, as people were also picking up swag bags they were looking at information from Autism NJ. I showcased how they have an ambassador program where anyone could get information to share in their close community. I love how they have a different theme each year with the materials they share, including, “Choose Kindness”, “Respect”, “Shaping the Future”, “Be You”, and this year was “Make it Personal”. I also put out information about the local school’s process, information, and contacts regarding what to do and how to navigate if you feel your child is in need of help. You would also find information on the “Unified Program“ at the High School. The purpose of that program is to provide students with and without disabilities opportunities to socialize and connect, and is lead by Roger Askin, Transition Coordinator at Millburn High School.
After people picked up the tour map, swag bags, and saw facts about Autism, they found me boasting about my architecturally talented husband. The editor of “Design NJ”, Ren Miller, usually sends magazines to be included in the tour swag bags. My husband was in an 8 page piece about one of his projects in Short Hills in a past copy. Then, since the tour was on a Sunday this year, I was sharing information about other open houses that were able to be visited. Thank goodness, because would you believe it was almost a house tour without houses!? Somehow I always seem to pull it together and plan a great event.
Agents like Arlene Gonnella, Anthony Verducci, Elan Bitan, just to name a few, have always supported the tour for the decade I’ve been hosting it and this year didn’t have an accessible listing to put on the tour. Nonetheless, I appreciate that it still showed up as a great community event in a fun philanthropic way. The agents that were involved this year were Elyse Wolfe with Compass, who opened her listing at 103 Forest Drive, Anny Wu opened 44 Fairfield Drive last minute, and a $5 million new construction on Hartshorn was opened by it’s listing agent, Thomas Mayer. Those who are following what’s going on in the real estate market understand that there’s very little inventory (feel free to contact me if you’d like to learn more). I got pretty creative with planning a successful event. The community really did come together!
The other participants ended up being Christopher Peacock, the Kitchen Design Studio in Millburn, the Cora Hartshorn Arboretum, and the Greenwood Gardens. The Arboretum tide it all together with sharing all about Stewart Hartshorn and his daughter Cora. They spoke about the buildings that were developed by this family, including the train station, the post office, and the “Stone House” where the chat took place at the arboretum. It was kind of neat that tour participants got to see a historic Hartshorn home and a home on Hartshorn Drive. The Greenwood Gardens ended the tour with a beautiful stroll around the gardens of an amazing home that was donated to the town by the Greenwood family who lived there at one point in time.
It was a fabulous day learning about real estate, architecture and history of Short Hills! Hope you can join us again next April, during Autism Acceptance Month!
Best, Melanie Rosenbaum