Soroptimists cancel Christmas house tour in Sykesville after 4 participants pull out Annual event raises funds for nursing scholarship

December 07, 1997|By Jackie Powder | Jackie Powder,SUN STAFF

For the first time in 38 years, Soroptimist International of Westminster has canceled its Christmas house tour after some of the participants dropped out of the popular event.

The tour, the main fund-raiser for the service organization's annual nursing scholarship, was scheduled for Dec. 14. It would have featured homes and churches in the Sykesville area for the second consecutive year.

"It's a terrible disappointment," said Cindy Franz, a Soroptimist club member. "You can't go out at the last minute and ask houses to participate."

Teresa Peach, organizer of the 1997 Christmas house tour, said participants agreed during the summer to take part. Last month, however, four of them told her they were dropping out.

Peach said one homeowner was involved with a wedding and had out-of-town guests and that she isn't sure why the other participants dropped out.

The cancellations left two private homes and one church, not enough to make a tour worthwhile, Franz said.

"It's all volunteer, so you really can't get upset with people," Peach said. "People get very busy around the holidays, and I guess sometimes they don't think ahead."

Soroptimist International of Westminster, a professional women's service club, raises about $1,000 each year from its Christmas house tour, said Franz.

The money goes toward a scholarship for a Carroll County student who plans to study nursing.

Franz said the club chose to have the tour in Sykesville again this year because last year's tour was so successful.

"You try to pick an area that hasn't been infiltrated with house tours already," said Franz, who noted that many house tours have been held in New Windsor, Union Bridge and Taneytown.

"We felt we had an untapped area with Sykesville," she said.

Planning for the house tours generally begins in July or August, when the club chooses an area.

"We prefer houses that have some character, and they tend to end up being the older homes," Franz said. "The nicest thing is to have people that have collections and like to display them, and we've never had a problem with theft."

The $5 admission for the Soroptimist tour includes entrance to the homes and refreshments, generally served at a church.

Franz said she has started organizing next year's house tour, which is to be in Frizzellburg.

Pub Date: 12/07/97

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