It’s as tightly guarded as the Academy Award winners and the recipe for Coke—what houses are on this year’s Tiger Hollow Holiday House Tour.
Six homes—resplendent in holiday décor—will be open to ticketholders on Friday, December 6. This biennial event is the main fundraiser for Tiger Hollow, Inc., the non-profit that supports Tiger Hollow Stadium at Ridgefield High School. While the town of Ridgefield covers the costs of ongoing maintenance there, funding the recently installed scoreboard, for example, came from private donations. “The funds raised by the Holiday House Tour are used toward larger capital projects for the improvement of the facility,” says current Tiger Hollow president Jill Bornstein.
A new committee, led by co-chairs Allison Romeo and Erin McMurray, brings fresh enthusiasm and ideas to the beloved seasonal event. “We’ve learned a lot through this process and had plenty of support from the previous committee,” says McMurray. Both women were inspired to take on the role because of their ties to Tiger Hollow, and their love of Ridgefield and Christmas. “Tiger Hollow is such an asset to the community,” says Romeo. The main field alone supports over 600 events a year, including practices, games, and events such as the Fourth of July fireworks and the Father’s Day 5K.
“Part of the magic is the surprise or the big reveal,” says McMurray. The morning of the event, ticketholders pick up the list of houses and a map at a Lounsbury House continental breakfast. The tour is self-guided—there is no specific order in which to visit the houses, and guests can spend as much times as they want at each location.
“Each of the homes on the tour offers something different, whether it is the interior design, history, architecture, or decorations,” says Romeo. Most of the homeowners have a connection to the Tiger Hollow—children who play sports at Tiger Hollow, either through the high school or other organizations. One home will be heavy on Ridgefield Tigers décor.
To secure sponsors, Romeo and McMurray contacted interior designers, architects, and landscapers involved in the improvement of each house. Sponsorship comes with signage at the specific house as well as promotion in the marketing campaign. New this year is a raffle of a holiday tree created by interior designer Kim Harper. Additionally, artist Annie Caravelli produced a limited-edition custom ornament featuring the Holiday House Tour logo that can be purchased on the day of the event or at tigerhollow.com. “We were looking for new and creative ways to raise additional money,” says McMurray.
The event relies heavily on volunteers to facilitate the 450 to 500 visitors expected to attend. “It’s such a great event that people want to be involved one way or another,” says Romeo. Volunteers assist inside the homes as well as coordinating parking of vehicles and directing traffic. The event happens rain, shine, or snow. Thanks to booties generously donated by Casey Energy, the homeowners’ floors are protected.
“Friends and family can come together to get into the spirit while raising money for the Tiger Hollow facility,” says McMurray.