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Holiday tour of homes benefits North Hagerstown sophomores

December 19, 2005|By KAREN HANNA

HAGERSTOWN

karenh@herald-mail.com

No pictures of rock stars or teen heartthrobs hang from the pretty-in-pink bedroom of 15-year-old Kate Zimmer.

Instead, she has Old World ornaments tastefully hung from a Christmas tree and miniatures of Victorian dresses displayed on headless mannequins on a shelf. Evergreen boughs decorate the railings of her wood canopy bed.

The Zimmers were among the North End families who welcomed visitors Sunday during a holiday house tour to benefit the North Hagerstown High School Class of 2008. Nutcrackers, beer steins and Christmas trees - more than a dozen so far, according to Barb Zimmer - greeted guests.

According to Brooke Allen, the high school's sophomore class advisor, the holiday house tour, which began several years ago, typically generates about $4,000 for the prom. This year's fundraiser included 10 homes, and tickets cost $15.

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"It's the one that makes us. Usually our fundraisers, we're lucky to clear $500 in our fundraisers," Allen said from school Thursday.

Kate, a sophomore, talked about her room as a steady stream of visitors wearing blue hospital booties over their shoes took a gander.

"This is my Old World tree," Kate said, gesturing to a Christmas tree that she decorated with painted glass ornaments. She said she has about 60 so far, and she is expecting at least one more from her mother on Christmas Eve.

Kate pointed to a glass figurine of Gretel, the fairy-tale girl who was lost in the woods with her brother and almost eaten by a witch. The figurine is Kate's favorite, she said.

"She is one, probably the most expensive one on the tree, and her face just drew me to her when I saw her ... in the store," Kate said.

At the Williamsburg Colonial home of the Berry family, homemade ornaments hung from a Christmas tree and two gingerbread homes enjoyed a prominent spot in the kitchen. Seven-year-old Molly played Christmas carols on her violin, before giving way to 9-year-old Nick, who mixed Ozzy Osbourne tunes with songs of the season on his electric guitar.

"I like it when the family gets together ... and I think it's good when the family gets together," Molly said.

Molly said she hopes to get a Pixter, a portable game system, for Christmas.

For Sarah Johnston, a 16-year-old junior who was one of several student volunteers at the Zimmer home, Christmas truly is the most wonderful time of the year. After moving from New Jersey, Sarah said Kate was one of the first people to befriend her.

She said she loves how the Zimmer home is decorated and is looking forward to Christmas.

"It just has a tangible feeling of warmth," Sarah said of the holiday season.

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