Several Laramie homeowners are opening up their houses to strangers for the University Women’s Club’s main fundraiser, Holiday Home Tour, to raise money to fund nontraditional female student scholarships the club provides, Holiday Home Tour organizer Tanna Nagy said.
“The Holiday Home Tour is our main fundraiser for the scholarship and initially it was to showcase Laramie homes and promote holiday decorations,” Nagy said. “Not everybody celebrates Christmas and not everybody decorates so now we are trying to find unique spaces — they can decorate if they want to but it is not mandatory.”
Seeing how other people keep their homes and looking at the architecture is a fun social gathering and is a great way to see unique places people might not have known about without spending time there, she said.
“This year is kind of unique and we have some spaces that I think people just aren’t aware of that they are going to be blown away by,” Nagy said. “There are some really great historic buildings down there that has some amazing spaces and people are just not aware of, so it is pretty cool when you go to these unique places.”
Typically, the club raises a couple thousand dollars from the tours but how much it receives depends on how many people participate in the tour, Treasurer Shantel Anderson said. In 2016, the organization was able to provide an additional scholarship because of the turnout for the tours, she said.
“We typically do around $1,000 to two people but a lot of it is dependent on how much money is raised by the home tour,” Anderson said. “This past year, with the great turnout we were able to have, we awarded two $1,000 scholarships and one $500 scholarship.”
She said a part of the club’s scholarship that helps support women is so that they do not have to go to the university’s main campus and can take classes from the outreach schools to receive the scholarship.
“The nice part about this scholarship is that … they could be at one of the distance education programs which a lot of times are single moms and things like that, that are working and going to school,” Anderson said, “(They do not have to be) here in Laramie on campus and can be part of the community colleges and going to the University of Wyoming through that.”
Tickets are available at Ace Hardware, 611 Grand Ave. for $20 before the event and $25 at the houses. The houses are open from noon-4 p.m. today at 2710 Sheridan St., 1612 Custer St., 308 S. Second St. suites A and C, and 611 University Ave. Unit No. 1.