By Dan Murphy
When former board member Kitty Flather first conceived of the “Creative Kitchens Tour” in the spring of 2013 as a possible fundraiser for Beacon Hill Village, it immediately struck a chord as an event that would not only champion the nonprofit membership organization’s mission of helping neighbors remain in their homes as they age, but also one that showcases the historic 19th-century residences of both Beacon Hill and Back Bay.
“We wanted to create a fun, community event that everyone from our neighborhoods could enjoy, while at the same time inviting people from outside of Boston to come see what makes Beacon Hill and the Back Bay so special,” said Laura Connors, the Village’s executive director.
The inaugural outing in 2014 drew an estimated 200 attendees, and its success has only grown since then. Last year, more than 300 guests attended the tour, which is now successfully planned and staged by more than 75 volunteers. This year, Reese Berman, a Village board member and West End resident, and Back Bay volunteer Aideen Jenkins are co-chairing the event.
“We are very excited about this year’s tour, which features a wide variety of beautifully renovated kitchens,” Berman wrote. “People will see everything from wide open family spaces to cozy efficient kitchens that make creative use of limited storage space; from traditional elegant kitchens with historic elements to contemporary workspaces showcasing the latest in kitchen technology.”
Connors believes the eight kitchens featured on this year’s tour well exemplify how the room has traditionally and continues to serve as the focal point for social gatherings at home.
“Kitchens are at the heart of homes, and sharing food is what brings friends, neighbors and families together,” Connors said. “The tour is a natural fit for Beacon Hill Village because it’s all about community, our neighborhoods and our homes.”
This year’s presenting sponsor is Cheers for the Children/ Kershaw Foundation, and other business sponsors include Beacon Hill Hotel & Bistro, Winn Companies, Capitol One Bank, The Elliot Hotel, Hingham Institution for Savings, Payne/Bouchier Fine Builders and People’s United Bank.
“It wouldn’t happen without the dedication and enthusiasm of Beacon Hill Village members and other neighbors, as well as many volunteers who are not members,” Connors added.
“The Creative Kitchens Tour” will be held rain or shine on Saturday, April 8, from 1 to 4 p.m. A limited number of tickets are available for a pre-tour luncheon to be held at the Hampshire House. Tickets for the luncheon and tour are $135. Tickets for the tour are $50, and may be purchased in advance at www.beaconvillage.org or by calling the office at 617-723-9713. Tickets will also be available on the day of the tour for $60 at the Hampshire House, 84 Beacon St.; Cambridge Trust, 65 Beacon St.; and Hingham Savings, 80 Charles St.