Holiday house tours a successful fund-raiser for St. Peter School

BEAUFORT — The third annual Homes for the Holidays house tours raised $44,000 for the St. Peter Catholic School Educational Endowment Fund, which provides opportunities for an education at St. Peter to those unable to afford the tuition. The tours were Nov. 19-21 at Dataw Island.

The 2002 Homes for the Holidays tours raised $30,000, and the 2003 tours raised $26,400. The 2004 event was the first time Dataw has opened its doors to a tour.

Co-chairs Rita Brown and Blanche Trumps said that the event brings together the Beaufort community for a great cause. There were over 300 volunteers from different communities, churches, and walks of life.

“Chairing an event like this has moments when one can’t help worrying about ticket sales or weather, but when you stop and think about the tremendous amount of positive energy and the amount of time so many caring people put in for such a good cause, you immediately know you will be blessed and all will go well,” Brown said.

Trumps commented that many people attend the tour each year because it is such a perfect way to begin the holidays. “It was such a great day to spend time with a friend or family viewing the decorations and ideas and chatting and socializing with others along the way,” she said. “You really do feel the spirit of the holiday and the joy of the upcoming season.”

Homes for the Holidays began on the night of Nov. 19 with a candlelight tour of the homes, followed by a preview party at  Dataw Island’s Carolina Room. A live band played music for the guests as they strolled among the silent auction items and enjoyed roast beef, a pasta bar, crab cakes and other delicacies.

 “The decorations and band were fabulous,” according to Connie Wegmann, a guest at the event. Centerpiece arrangements were provided by Claire Spengler and Linda Randazzo.

The day tours began the following morning and featured nine private homes professionally decorated for the holidays by local designers and florists. Tour members were treated to music and homemade treats along the way.

Planning has already begun for the 2005 Homes for the Holidays.