By Alisha McDarris
STUART -- Beautiful homes, whimsical Christmas decorations and expertly ornamented trees are sure to have everyone humming holiday tunes during the Woman's Club of Stuart's Holiday Home Tour.
The fifth annual event is the only one like it in the area and will be better than ever in celebration of the club's 100th anniversary according to Polly Pharow who heads up the event every year.
It includes six elegant homes around Martin County, all kept secret until attendees pick up their maps the day of the event. After they find out where they're going, they trek to one impressive home after another where volunteers will guide them through rooms decked out in their holiday best.
"It's a wonderful way to spend the afternoon, get into the holiday spirit and see the area's most beautiful homes," said Fran Banasiak, public relations director at the Woman's Club of Stuart. She said it makes a great family tradition.
"The home owners have really gotten into it," Ms. Pharow said.
The club's biggest fundraiser of the year will also feature a festival of trees with several professionally decorated trees at one of the homes and smaller decorations at the Clubhouse that can all be acquired via silent auction.
The money raised from the event will go toward providing scholarships for girls in Martin County high schools and to a benevolence fund for charitable giving. Last year the Woman's Club of Stuart awarded $16,000 in scholarships.
"The money we raise is given back to the community," Ms. Banasiak said. "In supporting the Woman's Club people are supporting the community."
After guests have ooh-ed and ahh-ed over stunning homes and unique decorations they are invited back to the Clubhouse for a reception complete with cheese and wine, silent auctions and raffles.
"The event is absolutely spectacular," Ms. Banasiak said.
"It's such a fun day from start to finish," Ms. Pharow said.
Tickets for the event on Sunday, Dec. 8 are $35 in advance or $40 at the door. Tickets can be purchased online at www.womansclubofstuart.com, by calling (772)261-4644 or at select Seacoast National Banks.
The tours run from noon to 5 p.m. and the reception is from 4-6 p.m. Pre-sale tickets are recommended as the event was sold out last year.