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WASSO Home Tour decks the halls

Fundraiser helps the symphony orchestra.

The Women’s Association of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra (WASSO) Home Tour and Cookie Sale is a lot like the lyrics a good Christmas song brings to life-filled with bright lights, warm shelter from the chilly air, classic architecture, holiday trimmings, tasty treats and a welcoming feel.

The big difference is you can actually experience these things instead of just listening when five local residences open their doors to share the seasonal spirit.

The 37th WASSO event will be next weekend, from 1-5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10., and Sunday, Dec. 11. It is a fundraiser for the Springfield Symphony Orchestra.

Homes are decked out in festive and distinct touches, some with backstories beyond the decorations that add to the tours.

“We have a variety of homes on the tour this year. We’ve tried to keep the cost low and it’s a great place to get ideas for the holidays and some make it a part of their holiday season,” said Joyce Simon, WASSO chairwoman.

In addition to the traditional cookies available, another seasonal treat, fudge, will be available for the first time. Boxes cost $5 and will be available only at the residences at 1158 Scanlon and 1776 Appian Way.

An added bonus to Saturday’s tour only is a sixth stop, the historic Hertzler House, 930 S. Tecumseh Road.

Simon said it was part of a past tour and WASSO is excited to have it back on Saturday. Its gift shop will also be open during the tour.

Featured homes include:

• Rita Kapp, 1158 Scanlon Lane, Kingsgate Commons. Built in 1992, this home sits privately off woods and a creek. Kapp’s favorite room is the kitchen and holiday touches will include various snowmen. Mark Joseph’s Creations of Urbana did the arrangement.

• Judi and David Martin, 1776 Appian Way, Olympic Hills. A newer home built in 1994 on a two-acre wood site. Highlights include Italian marble flooring, winding staircase, chandelier and lofty cathedral ceiling. Schneider’s Florist added the holiday flourishes.

• Drs. Bruce and Karen Shylo, 4322 Stone Bridge Drive, Beechwood Hills. This residence with its Colonial Williamsburg style has featured in several home magazines and has decorations by Guild Galleries of Urbana.

• Deidre Lucas, 7646 N. River Road. Built in 1830 and known as the Estle Homestead, this residence is an early example of brick construction with several original parts including floors, fireplaces, doors and locks along with numerous updates. It was featured in a book on Clark County homes and will have arrangements from Nett’s Florist.

Although the farthest point on the tour, Simon said this residence is a must-see.

• Bill Kiessling, 6070 Lower Valley Pike. This 30-acre farm was built at the turn of the century in late Victorian style. It features most of the original woodwork, has period Victorian furniture and décor and has a connection to the Hertzler House. Arrangements are from Flower Craft.

An interactive map of the tour’s homes and more information on each is available on the symphony’s website,

Advance tickets cost $15 each and are available at the Symphony office, Curves East, Flower Craft, Frame Haven, Heart of Country, Katie’s Hallmark, Mark Joseph’s Creations in Urbana, Nett’s Florist and Schneider’s Florist or from any WASSO member.

Tickets may also be purchased at any home on the tour for $20.

Contact this contributing writer at

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