Holiday House Tour next Saturday and Sunday
For the past 20 years, Family Resources Inc. has hosted an annual holiday house tour for the benefit of the PATH Shelter and Noah's House. Again this year there is a holiday tour on Saturday, Dec. 7 from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. and on Sunday, Dec. 8 from 1 to 5 p.m.
Bill and Leslie Saer are sharing their home with the public.
The tour is about helping abused women and children in Rutherford County to have a safe environment living at PATH or Noah's House. (See related story).
When Leslie learned earlier this year at another Family Resources event from Sherry Bright, executive director and volunteer Linda Roberts, that there would not be a holiday tour, she immediately volunteered.
"I told them, 'I'll do it," Leslie said at her house that is being transformed into a place for touring.
The former home of Dr. Bob and Susan Terry off J.J. Guffey Road near Rutherfordton, the Saers bought the house in 2007 and completely refurbished the rambling home to suit their particular personal tastes.
"We added a lot of wood and stone," she said, pointing to the kitchen and dining room area.
The couple actually moved to Rutherford County after leaving Hendersonville Champion Hills Golf Resort where they moved in 2002 from Chicago, Ill.
They were business people there and when they retired they wanted more space for plenty of animals.
With a deep passion and love for all animals, Leslie and Bill have rescued numerous animals over the years, including their own cats and dogs. She was a volunteer with the Blue Ridge Humane Society.
The Saers eventually left Champion Hills because Leslie wanted horses.
The Terry property came with 40 acres but rather than buying horses they opted for miniature donkeys.
The donkeys, Wilma and Clara, will be expecting visitors next weekend.
Although optional, anyone wishing to ride the van to the barn to see the "spoiled" donkeys will have the opportunity.
They will be sporting their new bright red halters.
"That will add a little different" facet of the holiday tour, she said.
When folks arrive at the Saer home, most likely they'll also see thoroughbreds in the upper pasture. They belong to veterinarian, Dr. Rachel Butterworth-Tice who is borrowing pasture space.
Once inside the house, Leslie said people are going to be dazzled.
With the assistance of designer Lynne Greenwalt of Hendersonville, Leslie said "the end result is going to be a very warm and inviting home."
Nine trees are placed in all areas of the three story house.
"There will be a lot of naturals rather than reds and greens," she said.
"Lynne has taken me out of my comfort zone."
The mantels, door ways and foyer will also feature the natural look with magnolia and pine.
A beech tree in the couple's woods will be cut at the last hour to add another natural flavor.
Although all three floors will be open for the tour, anyone who chooses not to use the stairs will still have a great experience on the main floor.
"No one will miss anything if they don't go upstairs or downstairs . . .the rest of the house will be picture perfect,"she said.
"No one has seen a holiday house like this one," Leslie said of the 6,000 square foot home.
Holiday tour hours for Saturday have been extended until 7 p.m.
"It becomes a magical wonderland at night," Leslie said. As the van travels up the long driveway with its passengers, they will be greeted with a large sleigh.
"It will be whimsical," she said.
Also added to the holiday tour will be the gift shop and bakery at the house location.
In the past the gift shop and baked items have been displayed at the Welcome Center, but the Saers decided to use their lower floor of their home for the shop.
"That way it is all right here," she said.
There will also be raffle items, including a wooden bench created by Patrick Burke.
"This is so much fun," she said describing the various aspects of the holiday tour.
But more than the Saer house on tour with all its natural decor and dazzle, the fact the holiday tour is a PATH Shelter and Noah's House fundraiser is the primary focus.
"A non-profit for battered and abused women is very important," Leslie said.
A collector of wooden bird cage, they will also be used in the decor. One bird cage will be placed near the exit of the house for anyone who wants to make an additional donation to Family Resources.
"Please, spread the word. This is going to be different," Leslie said.
Family Resources is a United Way Agency.
Want to Go?
Break out box:
Want to Go?
When: Saturday, Dec. 7, 1-7 p.m.
When: Sunday, Dec. 8, 1 to 5 p.m.
What: Family Resources Holiday Tour
Meet to Car Pool: Welcome Center: Rutherford Learning Center (former Rutherfordton Elementary School)
Admission: $8 in advance; $10 at the door
Proceeds: to PATH Shelter & Noah's House
Information: Call 247-1440