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Holiday Home Tour boosts programs for Duniway students

by: David F. Ashton Reed College’s Parker House living room window was decorated for the tour with a wreath featuring the college’s motto and icons, pointed out alumna Kathia Emery of Emery & Associates Interior Design, and Colby Westhead, Parker House Manager.

The 33rd Annual Duniway Holiday Home Tour, this year held on Friday, December 2nd, may have been one of the most successful, remarked the event's Chair, Michele Delaney.

'We had almost double the revenue from advertisers in our program book, which gave us a good start,' Delaney said - she's the mother of a pre-schooler and a Duniway first grader.

'I think it is essential to have strong elementary schools,' Delaney added to explain why she took on organizing this year's event. 'I don't know that people understand that our PTA pays for many of the school's supplies, some of the field trips, and funds the art program! Without this annual Holiday Home Tour, Duniway wouldn't be nearly the grade school that it is.'

There were five homes in the tour this year - and only one of the host families actually has students in the school, Delaney pointed out. 'The other four are just generous folks, who open their homes to help our school.'

Of special interest to many was a grand, historically-significant English cottage - and the Reed College Parker House.

At the latter location, Colby Westhead, Parker House Manager, and Kathia Emery of Emery and Associates Interior Design were on hand to greet guests and answer questions about the house and about Holiday décor.

'This was such a fun and interesting project,' said Emery, a Reed alumnus and currently a member of the school's Alumni Board. 'Parker House is such a wonderful space, with beautiful architecture.'

'And, it's nice having all these neighbors and tour visitors from all over Portland come through it,' Westhead remarked. 'It's good to share the house, and hear people say how warm and gorgeous it is.'

Reed College Public Affairs Director Jennifer Bates joined guests in the 'living room', and pointed out, 'This is our first time for Parker House, on the Duniway Home Tour. As we celebrate our centennial year, we wanted to celebrate with our neighbors; the Home Tour is a great way to do it.'

At another stop on the tour, a home on S.E. 29th Avenue, Geoff and Laurie Baum opened their house to visitors.

'Our children went to Duniway, and we feel they both had a great education,' Laurie said. 'I always told them that some year we'd be on the tour; this year is the year!'

The lady of the house said she had lots of help from family and girlfriends getting the home decorated and ready for the tour. 'But, it's worth it to be able to give back to Duniway. And, here it is the beginning of December, and our house is already decorated and ready for the Holidays!'

Back at the school, Delaney introduced Katrina Marshall, this year's Chair of the concurrent Duniway Holiday Boutique.

'We have 40 vendors at the boutique,' smiled Marshall. 'Some of them are school families, some are community craftspeople. It's great having people shop locally, and enjoy the handmade crafts we have here. It is also a great way for the school to interact with the community.'

This Holiday Home Tour was successful, Delaney, pointed out, 'Because I had many, many wonderful helpers this year and tremendous support from sponsors. Thanks to them, it looks as if we'll raise about $25,000 today.'