By MAGGIE CARTER O’CONNOR
Planning is in high gear for the 2011 Independent Presbyterian Church Holiday House Tour. Celebrating 62 years of holiday tradition, the event will be held Saturday, Dec. 10 and Sunday, Dec. 11.
A highlight of the season for so many, the tour is also the principal fundraiser for the IPC Presbyterian Women. All proceeds support the women’s ministries including the Children’s Fresh Air Farm, which has served Birmingham’s children since 1923 and is now enhanced with the six-week Summer Learning Program. Each summer, underserved children participate in programs focused on the traditional subjects as well as the arts and athletics in a Christ-centered environment. Without funds from the Holiday House Tour, these programs would struggle to operate at the same successful level as they have over the past several decades.
Chairing the 62nd annual Holiday House Tour is Mountain Brook resident Beth Adams. In 2006, Adams moved to Mountain Brook, joined Independent Presbyterian Church and volunteered as a home hostess for the tour, where she met many new people and took a vested interest in the event. Over the following years, Beth continued to volunteer and served as house chair and the 2010 event’s co-chair.
Adams marvels at the graciousness of the homeowners. “The individuals that open their homes for the tour are some of the most generous people you can find,” she said.
By featuring six local homes, IPC members hope to give the community not only a glimpse of original holiday decorating ideas but also home décor tips and tricks. These tour homes will showcase modern, contemporary styles with clean lines and simple overtones.
IPC members and community volunteers acting as home hostesses will welcome visitors to each home where $20 tickets can be purchased. Participants also have the luxury of independence while touring the open houses and can drive (or carpool) to each of the houses at a leisurely pace.
Each ticket will grant access to all six homes on the tour and this year’s bonus home, the Birmingham Home & Garden Inspiration House in Cahaba Heights. Combining traditional and contemporary elements of style, the Inspiration House is a showcase of local designers and vendors including several IPC members.
Adams and the women of IPC receive additional leadership from Mr. Robert Hill of Robert Hill Antiques, who actively guides the house selection process. Many IPC men coordinate parking at each tour home and accommodate tour visitors throughout the weekend. While these volunteers are IPC members, the congregation welcomes all friends of the featured homeowners as well as interested volunteers to participate in the event as well.
Many thanks go out to the volunteers planning the event: Beth Adams, chairman; Robert Hill, selection chair; Langston Hereford, publicity chair; Amy McCain, ticket sales; house chairs Paige Albright, Cyndy Cantley, Jennifer Cope, Kay Grisham, Penney Hartline, Allison Ingram, Kate Simpson, Kelly Sorrells, Sumner Starling, Kathy Thomson and Ellen Walker; Presbyterian Women coordinators Laurie Allen, Melissa Brisendine, Judy Feagin, Cindy Keller, Babbie Shelton and Betty Shreiber; house artists Elaine Swoger and Andrew Hicks. An additional thanks to the numerous IPC Staff members who are integral to the success of the Holiday House Tour.
If you are interested in volunteering for the 2011 Holiday House Tour, please contact Independent Presbyterian Church at 933-1830.
2011 IPC Holiday House Tour featured homes
Betsy Brown, Betsy Brown, Inc.
2647 Montevallo Road
Doug Davis, Tracery Interiors
2644 Montevallo Road
Katharine and Bryson Edmonds
4132 Old Leeds Lane
Rebecca and Ben Fulmer
3172 Overhill Road
Jennifer and Keith Wagoner
1033 32nd Avenue South
Independent Presbyterian Church
3100 Highland Avenue South
Come by to view the beautifully decorated sanctuary and enjoy a cup of hot tea before, during or after your tour.
Birmingham Home & Garden Inspiration House
Overton Cove Drive, Cahaba Heights