Eight homes featured on this year's Duniway 'Tour'
In its 39th year, the 2018 Duniway Holiday Home Tour guided guests around the Eastmoreland neighborhood to eight homes, all decked out for the Holiday season, on December 1.
In addition to the open houses, a Holiday Boutique was set up in the gymnasium of the school, reported this year's organizer, Alison Lopakka -- an at-large member of the Duniway PTA.
"This event keeps me busy, as a stay-at-home mom; I like the planning aspect of it, and meeting the homeowners," she told THE BEE.
Four "shifts" of more than 175 volunteers, help out before and during the Holiday Home Tour; many of them are "Tour Angels", who serve as docents in the homes, while others sell tickets, and help out in the boutique.
"This fundraiser supports art programs, field trips, and technology," Lopakka pointed out.
A house on the tour whose owners welcomed THE BEE is owned by Paige Chandler and Kevin Wapner,
"I did my undergraduate and graduate work at Portland State University, and 'fell in love' with Portland during the 1980s. It was always a dream of mine to relocate and retire here," Chandler said.
Her husband, the head sound engineer for the Hollywood Bowl, and for the Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles, "commutes" to and from their home, said Chandler. "But this home came up for sale, and I knew that it was a charming home, and I felt like we could make the transition.
"I left my heart in Portland, I really did!" Chandler said. "While integrating myself in the community, and working in my profession as an educator, I decided to build a dollhouse – which, as it turns out – looks just like my house here. So now, 30 years later, I get to move into my dollhouse!"
The Duniway PTA called her to ask if her home might be included in the tour; "there were so many reason to say 'yes'.
"The first is that I'm an educator, and I've always advocated for children; another reason is that I look at volunteering in the community as a strong commitment, and a value of my own family," Chandler smiled.
While putting up outdoor Holiday decorations, Chandler said a car stopped, a woman walked up, and said, "Hi, my name is Dorothy Jachetta and I've been waiting for you," and explained that her mother and family had lived in the house for 50 years.
"Today, during the tour, I have been texting her all morning about how 'alive' her house – now our house – is, right now, and she's thrilled."
Reportedly, this year's tour was well-attended, and raised considerable money for the work of the Duniway School PTA.