Zimmer dives into the festive season

December 14, 2005|by JANET HEIM

Editor's note: There are a lot of people you see around town that you recognize, but don't know anything about. People like...

Name: Barb Zimmer

Occupation: Marketing consultant

Hometown: Charleston, W.Va.

Where would you see Zimmer?: Christmas is one holiday the Zimmer family of Spring Valley goes all out for. Zimmer is in the midst of decorating the 14 trees, hanging the lighted garland and displaying the more than 200 Santas that will help transform just about every room of her family's Cape Cod home - including the butler's pantry - into a Christmas wonderland.

Each tree has its own theme. The family's German heritage, love for travel and collecting are evident in the decorations. For that reason, the Zimmers were invited to be a part of the North Hagerstown High School Holiday House Tour on Dec. 18.


This year, the sophomore class is sponsoring the tour. Kate Zimmer is a sophomore at North High and active in student government.

With only four weeks' notice, the family agreed to participate since they would be home for the holidays.

"It's our daughter's fault," Barb Zimmer said with a laugh.

The past several Christmases, Barb and her husband, Chip, have accompanied Kate, 15, to Austin, Texas, to train with an Olympic volleyball coach. Kate qualified for USA Volleyball this yea, too, but the family has chosen to stay home.

"The clock is ticking. We only have so many years to pass the family traditions down," Barb Zimmer said. "It will be fun being home. It's been a long time since we've been here."

Kate had her tonsils removed over Thanksgiving break. Barb used her daughter's recovery time to get a jump-start on decorating.

Barb Zimmer doesn't think there's anything extraordinary about the way her home is decorated for Christmas, but admits she probably does decorate more than most full-time working women. She sees it as an opportunity for people to get ideas for their own decorating.

The holiday house tour will be from 1 to 5 p.m. It will feature nine homes of various historical and architectural distinction and Cortland Mansion, as well as ornate and festive holiday decorations. Refreshments and live entertainment will be provided at each house.

A holiday bazaar - with homemade candies, spiced pecans, candles, potpourri and more for sale - will be at Cortland Mansion, 19411 Cortland Drive, from 1 to 6 p.m.

Tickets for the house tour cost $15 and may be purchased at the North High main office, Inn on Potomac at 400 N. Potomac St., and Wingrove Manor at 635 Oak Hill Ave. They also may be purchased at each home on the day of the tour. A map with the addresses of the participating houses is printed on the ticket.

For more information, call Teresa Schoeck at 301-797-2066.

Hobbies: Besides a passion for collecting, antiquing and cooking, Zimmer loves to read, play bridge and Mah Jong. She enjoys gardening and is the president of Antietam Garden Club and belongs to Newcomer's Club and a gourmet club.

Zimmer and her husband also run a Tri-state area Fellowship of Christian Athletes volleyball club. There are over 100 girls who participate in the club.

What does Zimmer like best about Washington County? As consultants - she and her husband work out of their home providing marketing services for long-term care facilities throughout the East coast - the Zimmers could live just about anywhere. Nine years ago, they decided to move to Hagerstown from the Washington, D.C. area and have never regretted the decision.

"We picked here because it's a great place to raise kids," Zimmer said. "I look at our lifestyle and we couldn't have this lifestyle in D.C."

Zimmer said when they first moved here, shopping left something to be desired, but no more. The close proximity to Baltimore, D.C. and Deep Creek Lake, where the Zimmers have a home, makes it an ideal location for them. Nearby ski resorts, horseback riding and the growing number of nice restaurants add to the mix.

"We just love it," Zimmer said. "I can't think of anything you can't do here."

She adds that they're pleased with the school system and the way it keeps advancing and offering new options for students.

If you know anyone in the community who might make an interesting Our Town feature, contact Janet Heim at 301-733-5131, ext. 2024 or e-mail janeth@

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