An estimated 500 to 600 people showed up Saturday to visit five decorated homes in the town for the 12th annual Christmas in November Holiday Home Tour, an auxiliary fundraiser for St. Mary’s Healthcare.
“If you saw the decorations, you’d think you died and went to the North Pole,” said Marcia Russo, a co-chairwoman for the event.
“You always want to be current and what’s trending” in decor, she said.
Besides that, “a lot of people take an interest in the architecture of the houses,” she said.
A salient example was the home of Alex and Theresa Fabozzi at 143 Stewart St., a onetime carriage house for the Shuttleworth family, which owned the former Mohasco carpet mill. Visitors noted not only the Christmas decorations but also how the house has been completely redone and modernized. Peter Fraumeni of Amsterdam said he finds the homes more interesting than the decorations.
Theresa Fabozzi said she opened up her home to be decorated because “I just thought it would be a very nice thing to do to support St. Mary’s Hospital.”
Also showing their homes were Marisha Gennett at 25 Grant St., Phil and Jerri Cortese of 28 Grant St., John and Melissa Dumblewski of 1137 Midline Road, and Shane and Stephanie Maynard of 230 Manny’s Corners Road.
Marge Griffith is so enthused about taking the annual tours she has participated for the past five years. “I’ve never been in the same house twice,” she said.
The tour “just starts the season, puts you in the mood, and gives you ideas about what to decorate with,” she said.
Most of the homes are decorated by St. Mary’s Healthcare auxiliary members from a cache of Christmas balls, wreaths, lights and similar items.
Gennett decorated her own house, starting two weeks before Halloween. “I love to decorate, and I love Christmas,” she said.
“It gets you in the holiday spirit, and it makes other people happy.”
Connie Zevola of Perth finds the event inspiring. “It’s like you want to go home and start decorating,” she said.
People attending the tour get a program describing the homes and artwork donated for sale and a map with a line showing the route from house to house.
After touring the homes, they can return to the Carondelet Pavilion on Guy Park Avenue to munch on goodies, browse the vendor displays, and take chances on raffles.
The event is a major fundraiser, second only to an annual gala ball, and required some 80 volunteers to pull it together, said Russo, who was co-chairwoman with Colleen Medwid and Linda Estep.