After a three-year hiatus, organizers behind the successful Nite of Hope breast-cancer fundraiser have two simple explanations for why they’re embarking on the next phase of their efforts:
Breast cancer isn’t going away; and, it’s time.
“We always knew we wanted to do something again… we just didn’t know what,” Debi Rumley, co-chair of the Nite of Hope team, said.
“When I phoned the girls and hey, who’s interested, they were all, ‘we’re ready’.”
Rumley, along with Lori Ishikawa and Tammy Ritchie, launched the local Nite of Hope Gala in 2006; an annual event they retired in 2012, after raising $1.4 million for breast cancer research at the BC Cancer Agency, through the CBF.
Next weekend, the doors will open – literally – on their newest endeavour: The Holiday Home Tour for Hope.
The three-day event is a showcase of six White Rock and South Surrey homes that have been “absolutely done up to the nines” for the holidays.
For $50, those interested can take a self-guided tour on Nov. 20, 21 or 22, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Rumley said the homes are located across the Semiahmoo Peninsula, from Grandview Corners to Crescent Beach.
From locating the homes, to finding sponsors and spreading the word, developing the Tour has been an effort that “encompasses a lot of the community,” she said.
Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation officials got a sneak peek at one of the featured homes last week, when they visited White Rock artist Susan Strangway’s eclectic Marine Drive abode on Nov. 3.
“It’s such a labour of love, it’s spectacular,” commented the foundation’s Jennifer Atkinson, senior manager of community partnerships, as she looked around.
Foundation executive director Bernice Scholten was still in awe two days later, reflecting on the colourful, varied and in many cases, original, decor.
“What a house!” she said Thursday.
Strangway said she was approached by the Nite of Hope team last spring about being part of the home tour. It was an easy cause to support, she said.
“I painted this room pink because of it,” she said, glancing around the formerly tan-walled, south-facing lower level of her home.
For the tour, her home will have a ‘Christmas Magic’ theme; described on the event website as “where nostalgia meets magic wrapped up in an eclectic bow.”
(Tea towels and aprons bearing Strangway’s whimsical ‘pink ladies’ will be sold as part of the fundraising effort.)
The other participating homes are dubbed Luxe Lodge, showcasing “a unique rustic Christmas in Morgan Creek”; Oceans Gift, a “seaside retreat that inspires us to romance our home and embrace our style”; West Coast Christmas, a “good old-fashioned traditional West Coast Christmas”; La Provence by the Sea, a “French-inspired holiday chateau wrapped in tradition”; and Forest with a View, “an enchanted mix of wood and water.”
Scholten, who took on her role with the foundation three months ago, described the tour idea and the enthusiasm of the organizers as “so terrific.”
Fascinated by Rumley’s tales of the community’s commitment to the cause during the gala’s run, she is optimistic the tour will be well-received.
“It’s going to be, from all I can see, a smashing success,” she said.
Tickets, good for visiting all six homes, are available from the sponsors: Potters (both the 19158 48 Ave. and 2124 128 St. locations), Romancing the Home (1637 128 St.) Ambiente (Grandview Corners) and Art Knapp (4391 King George Blvd.).
For more information, visit www.niteofhope.com/whiterock