Holiday Home Tour to help fix up older homes

Friday, December 2, 2005

By taking part in the Holiday Home Tour Saturday afternoon, you will not only get to see the inside of some very special McCook homes, but you will also be giving a helping hand to a program to assist first-time homebuyers.

The double bonus is possible because the entire Home Tour admission fee -- $12 per person -- is going into a fund to help fix up six older dwellings in McCook.

"We are so very grateful to the families who are opening their homes for the Holiday Tour," said Denise Ringenberg, the housing director with the McCook Economic Development Corp. "They are reviving an important community tradition and, at the same time, giving a big boost to efforts to upgrade several of McCook's older houses."

Once an annual part of the Christmas season, holiday home tours have not been held for the past five or six years. But, last Christmas, Denise and the members of Housing Task Force started developing plans to revive the tours. "It seemed such a natural fit. We needed to call attention to the housing program, and we couldn't think of a better way to do that than to showcase the community's many special and unique homes."

During Saturday's tour -- starting at 1 p.m. at the newly renovated McCook Christian Church -- guests will be treated to visits to the homes of Kirk and Becky Kilpatrick, No. 10 Clubhouse Drive; John Kugler, 2201 Ponderosa Drive; Bob and Renalle Loshbaugh, 707 East First Street; and Cordell and Jerda Svengalis, 15 Wedgewood Drive.

Each of the homes have special points of interest. At the Kilpatricks, the emphasis is on family living with a scenic golf course view, while the Loshbaughs feature a vintage home restored to comfortable contemporary living. The high ceilings, dramatic openness and canyon views are highlights at John Kugler's home. Adding another dimension, the Svengalises place an accent on history, with antiques and celebrity tributes serving as points of interest.

McCook is making a dedicated effort to restoring the community's older homes, including some built more than a century ago. Efforts will start just after the first of the year, with the housing arm of the McCook Economic Development Corp. investing a $200,000 grant into the Purchase, Rehab and Resale of six older dwellings.

The Housing Task Force picked a winner with the Holiday Home Tour. The tour will not only dramatize the pride McCook has in its finer homes, but it will inspire a wonderful combination of Christmas and community spirit.

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