By RENEE FITE
Local residents opened their holiday decorated homes to the public Sunday, while helping raise funds for a local nonprofit.
The Tahlequah Branch of American Association of University Women Christmas Tour held its annual Homes for the Holidays tour Sunday, drawing both local and out-of-town visitors.
AAUW member Sophia Sweeney was selling tickets at the host business, Vintage On Main.
“The community has a chance to get involved through this fundraiser,” Sweeney said. “We use the money to fund student scholarships.”
Sweeney, who hadn’t taken the tour yet, said the Northeastern State University President Dr. Steve Turner’s house was drawing a lot of attention.
“A lot of people have been intrigued to see it,” she said.
At the Turner home, Alice May and Billie Davis were making their last stop on the tour.
“I enjoy seeing the different ways people decorate, the style of their taste,” May said.
Davis liked all of it.
“I loved the Blue Fern B and B; it was beautiful,” Davis said. “I love to see how people decorate and get new ideas and see that some of my ideas are great, too. It’s also fun to run into people you know.”
Another AAUW member, Irene Wickham was finishing her home tour so she could volunteer at the Goody Shoppe in the Turner home.
The shop featured cookies, mint fudge and an assortment of tempting treats from 50 cents to $5.
“It’s fun to visit the houses and get ideas for decorating and remodeling,” Wickham said.
It’s a good fundraiser, too, said Wickham.
“People in the community seem to like it; they buy the tickets,” she said. “People come from out of town, too.”
Proceeds from the ornament sales and Goody Shoppe are also used for the organization’s Woman to Woman Conference and to help support a girl at Girls State.
The newly renovated Blue Fern Bed and Breakfast was also drawing a lot of visitors, who admired the eclectic decorating style in the old home, now painted a vivid blue outside.
“It’s such fun to open the house and get feedback from the community,” owner Cordelia Dixon said. “I want Tahlequah to know we have a place if they have company or want a nice night out.”
Amber George, Paula Burris and Karen Carey were traveling together and the Blue Fern was their first stop.
“We always come [on the tour],” said George. “We like to support AAUW and I love any home decorating.”
Amber Cowan, AAUW member, was a hostess at the Cody and Kim Parker home.
“I like to see the different styles of the homes, varying decorating styles and when hosting, I enjoy the interaction with the community members,” Cowan said, “And I enjoy getting to introduce so many people to AAUW.”
Kim said they were happy to be asked to show their new home.
“We like our entry way. We custom did the paint and finishes and had to have a double door,” Parker said. “We’re proud of our home.”
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