The Rye House Tour: How It All Began
Over its 36-year history, literally thousands of Rye High School parents, friends, and neighbors have considered the Rye House Tour a “don’t-miss” event.
Over its 36-year history, literally thousands of Rye High School parents, friends, and neighbors have considered the Rye House Tour a “don’t-miss” event. The tour returns this year on Friday, May 16 with five beautifully distinctive homes, as well as a waterside luncheon and boutique at Manursing Island Club. The House Tour’s popularity and fundraising success has elevated it to a Rye springtime tradition. But it started out modestly, the culmination of an inspiration Nancy Neuman, now Manager of Coldwell Banker, had back in 1978.
Following the lead of an out-of-town colleague, Nancy planned the first house tour from her Country Properties office. Having children in Rye schools, Nancy says she “wanted to give back to the community and build a scholarship fund to assist students in their education going forward.” Naming the event the “Rye High School House Tour,” she and her staff drew up a map, ran ads, and sold tickets from their front desk. She recalled, “We didn’t know if anyone would come!” But their hard work paid off and Nancy estimates that a few hundred went on the inaugural tour and that first year she was able to present a $3,000 check to Rye High School from the tour proceeds. She continued to oversee the tour for 12 years, also serving as President of the Rye High School Parents’ Organization the last two years. After her children went off to college, the Parents’ Organization assumed the Tour’s sponsorship, which continues today.
The House Tour is still Rye High’s “one and only” fundraiser, and in recent years the scope of beneficiaries has expanded to include several enrichment initiatives. Now adhering to an every other year schedule, dozens of volunteers work for months to ensure the House Tour is both enjoyable and memorable.
As for Nancy, she is “delighted” that the House Tour has been sustained, and that the commitment to Rye High School’s success is as strong as ever. She looks forward to joining the touring crowd on May 16.
Go to ryehousetour.com for tickets and information.