Arts & Entertainment

Tour of Westfield's Notable Homes Attracts Crowds Despite Rainy Weather (Video)

Volunteers from the Friends of NJFO at their 2017 Tour of Notable Homes. Credits: Kate Brochu
Home Tour Chairs Samantha Altieri and Michelle Pierce
Tour-goers were invited to enter for a chance to win a Tesla for a day. Credits: Kate Brochu
Friends of New Jersey Festival Orchestra volunteer invites tour-goers to enter for a chance to win a Tesla for a day. Credits: Kate Brochu
Tour-goers enjoy the Tour of Notable Homes
Sugar Mamas Amy and Christina treat guests to dessert samplings from their local bakery. Credits: Kate Brochu
Friends of New Jersey Festival Orchestra President Alicia Barker. Credits: K. Brochu
Brother and sister duo- Jessica Doyle and Matthew Doyle, children of Executive Director of NJFO Linda Doyle, volunteer at Notable Home Tour Credits: K. Brochu
Tour goers enjoy a stop of the Notable Home Tour Credits: K. Brochu
NJFO Board Member Mr. Crenshaw, NJFO Conductor Mr. Wroe, and son Sebastian Wroe enjoy the Notable Home Tour Credits: K. Brochu
Shaung Guo Wroe and David Wroe enjoy the Notable Home Tour Credits: K. Brochu
Shaung Guo Wroe and colleagues invite tour goers to participate in a luxury raffle. Credits: K. Brochu
Members of the Junior Musical Club of Westfield perform at Notable Home Tour. Suraj Chandran and classmates. Credits: K. Brochu
Jackie Safran and Michael Buben, Friends of the NJFO volunteers Credits: K. Brochu

WESTFIELD, NJ — The crowds were undeterred by the weather this Saturday and showed up in droves to experience the Friends of the New Jersey Festival Orchestra’s 2017 Tour of Notable Homes. 

“Despite the rain, we still expected attendance to be good since so many tickets were purchased in advance,” said Alicia Barker, president of the Friends of the NJFO. About 350 tickets were sold beforehand.

A more than 30-year tradition, the annual tour has acquired a loyal following.

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“I’m pretty sure that we’d have our core group in attendance even if it was snowing,” said one Friends of NJFO volunteer. 

“We have an acquired interest after having done this for so many years,” added Jessica Doyle, daughter of NJFO Executive Director Linda Doyle.

Prepared with plastic bags for patrons’ wet shoes and cloth foot covers, volunteers from the Friends greeted guests at four of the area’s finest homes.

Each home featured live music from members of the Junior Musical Club in Westfield, luxury basket raffles and door prizes, along with unique vendor experiences ranging from dessert tastings to Tesla test drive raffles.

“The home tour is a key element of the funding mix that’s necessary to operate the orchestra,” said NJFO Music Director David Wroe. “Supplemental fundraising is critical because only about a third of our revenue comes from the sale of tickets.”

Proceeds from this annual fundraiser support the NJFO along with their educational outreach and music therapy programs.

“These are truly the best friends an orchestra could ever wish for,” said Elizabeth Ryan, director of marketing for the NJFO.

“I was so pleased to see that despite our concerns regarding the inclement weather, our many guests enjoyed four spectacular homes,” Home Tour Co-Chair Michelle Pierce said. “We are have already started the planning for next year's tour.”

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