As the season of Christmas nears, volunteers are putting the finishing touches on three homes which will be open to the public.


As the season of Christmas nears, volunteers are putting the finishing touches on three homes which will be open to the public.

They are part of the Susan B. Allen Memorial Hospital Holiday House Tour 2009, which will be Dec. 5.

The homes included on the tour are those of Jim and Sally Hargrove, 400 E. Abby Circle; Irvin and Shirley Burhenn, 1218 Osage; and Lance and Linda Varley, 2654 S.E. 40th.

Home tour hostesses will be welcoming guests between 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Advance tickets are $7 and can be purchased at the hospital gift shop or from auxiliary members. Tickets will also be available Dec. 5 at tour home sites for $8 each.

There are a variety of themes for the decorations this year.

The Varley home, located south of El Dorado, features a rustic look.

Dana Crawford and Dana Wernli decorated this home, which features the theme “Star Street to Star Bright.” That is because the home is the one moved from 205 S. Star St. to its current location, where it sits in the country and the stars shine bright.

That theme is carried through with the use of stars, burlap and more.

“I think we both just enjoy creating beauty,” Crawford said of their decorating.

To help with the project, the homeowners contributed their decorations, the decorators brought some of their own and they purchased and made still more decorations.
“We incorporated lots of burlap, twine and rope,” Crawford explained.

They also will be using cowboy boots for stockings on the mantle.

Although they just began their decorating about a week ago, they have been planning for much longer.

“We had our idea in the summer time and started putting it all together,” Wernli said. “We knew we wanted to use burlap and rope to incorporate the country feel to it. You can be handmade and still be nice.”

Guests will appreciate the mix of old and new, vintage and rustic. Everything about this home is a reflection of family and comfort. This historic home is filled with many original features, character, and old-fashioned country charm. The dining room boasts beautiful lead-glass windows and doors while the walls of the home are a treasure of rich, dark oak wood work. The functional and beautiful country kitchen makes guests want to stop for a cup of Christmas cheer as apples, candy canes, cookies and popcorn tempt the eyes and the taste buds. Natural materials, cookie cutters and checked fabrics add to the homemade country style of the kitchen/mud room.

The home is located four miles south of Highway 54 on Bluestem Road and one-fourth mile west on 40th Street.

The decorators encouraged people to visit the homes.

“I think it’s just getting an idea of how you can decorate three different homes with completely different styles,” Wernli said.

The Hargrove home features the theme of “Nature’s Christmas Gifts.”
Barbara Russell and Shelley Gaston as chairs for this home.

Among those decorating the Hargrove household are Shelley Gatson, Jeanne Evans, Billee Douglass, Jennifer Callaway, Linda Sanders and Barbara Russell.

The group gathered Monday afternoon to begin decorating the elegant abode with themes from nature. The home construction emphasizes glass, brick and native stone from Cowley County, plus large decorative rocks from Burns.

“We are using lots of natural items,” explained Russell. “We want to incorporate many things from nature.”
The Hargrove house features luxurious windows with a breath-taking few of woodland scapes and the ladies are wanting to bring the outdoors in.

“The owners love to watch birds and animals,” explained Douglass.

Guests will be greeted at the Hargrove’s brick and native stone home on the roadbed of the Kansas City, Mexico and Orient Railroad. The roadbed was constructed in 1904 but tracks were never laid. The site was abandoned and over the next 100 years hardy, native trees including hackberry, ash and hickory dominated along with Kansas vines including the creeper vine. Each day brings a different slant of light through the trees.

For this Christmas season, the feel of this home is found in the colors and use of natural elements of copper, silver and gold, bringing the outdoors inside. The natural look of this home sparkles with a touch of Christmas throughout. The living room with its wall of windows provides a panoramic view of the beauty of the treetops beyond.

Jim’s love of hunting and fishing provides the theme for the lower level. The fish, etched in the floor and on the kitchen tile, and the unique accessories in the bathroom lend an ambiance of a woodsy cabin to these rooms.

Finally, the Burhenn home features the theme “Quilted Memories.” Esther Pugh is the chair for this home.

It features a variety of Christmas scenes, including many quilted pieces by Shirley Burhenn, which are hanging throughout the house and the Jim Shore figures featured throughout the home are decorated with quilt patterns.

“She really excels at quilts,” Pugh said.

“And she has a wonderful collection of Nativities.”
Those too are spread throughout many of the rooms of their house.

The Burhenns lived in Germany while Irvin was in the military and they brought many of the traditions they acquired there back home with them.

“We are trying to incorporate their lifestyle into it,” Pugh explained.

They began decorating the first week in November, with hopes of getting the majority of it completed before the Thanksgiving holiday.

“Of course we will be tweaking up until the last minute,” Pugh said.

This was the first time these decorators, also including Shirley Hutchinson and Sandy Rosebraugh, had decorated a house for the tour, but they got involved after Shirley Burhenn asked them to help.

“We’ve had a really good time doing it,” Pugh said.

Terramara, Inc., built this home in 1989 as a group home for six adults and their house parents. When Terramara went out of business it became a one-family dwelling. The Burhenns are the third couple to own this home and each couple has modified it to their needs. As guests walk through they will hear how the changes took place. The sunroom was added in 2007 by Irvin and Shirley to bring the outside inside. In the months of May and July, the home is a special attraction when the Iris and Lilies show the work of Shirley, a master gardener, and Irvin, a garden master.
In addition to the tour, a highlight for Auxiliary volunteers offers the Gift Shop Christmas Open House, Bake Sale, and the Sewing Sale in the hospital lobby. This venue is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and features holiday specialty gifts, homemade goodies and handmade sewing crafts for holiday gift  giving.

The event is a major fundraising project for the Auxiliary and this year’s proceeds benefit the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner/Sexual Assault Response Team (SANE/SART) program at SBAMH – a program benefiting children and adults who are abused and neglected. The program provides advanced education surrounding sexual assault and medical-legal evidence as well as enhancing the care being provided to victims of sexual assault.

Auxiliary committee for Holiday House Tour 2009 are led by Sharon Harrison, Auxiliary president; Karen Hockett, Volunteer coordinator; Ramona Clanton, project chair; Amy Nickels, Ann Fankhauser, Judy McCluskey, tickets; Freda Groves, hostess; Virginia Bennett and Lorena Wiley, Bake Sale; Hazel McGoyne, Sewing Saints; Louise Prigmore, Gift Shop; and Jan Jack, publicity.