On Sunday, you’ll get to see what I think are some of the great light displays in La Plata County in The Durango Herald, but as I was driving around trying to figure out the sources of the elusive glows, I began to wonder: “If their houses look this great outside, I wonder what the decorations inside look like?”
On Sunday, we can all find out. The Catholic Daughters of the Americas, St. Anthony’s Court No. 1248, is hosting its Doorways to a Durango Christmas, where four homes are decorated and then allow us in for a peek.
Virginia and Larry Gaughan’s home at 85 Rio Vista Circle features a number of trees, including one filled with handstitched ornaments and another fragrant and aglow with white lilies. In addition to the trees, the Gaughans display several collections, including Colorado handcrafted Simplich dolls.
Up at Blanche McAndrew Harmon’s home at 190 Rockridge Drive, the world traveler’s colorful home not only includes textiles and other collections from around the world, there are more than a few family heirlooms sprinkled around.
What could be more Christmasy than a holiday on East Third Avenue? Jan and Joe Gemperline’s home at 719 East Third Ave. is decorated with a number of differently themed Christmas trees and a vintage feel.
And Beth and Mark Parrott bring the outdoors inside for their home at 37 Window Lake Trail in Edgemont Highlands. Their home, which has a “cabin-in-the-woods” feel, also will showcase family antiques, including several built by her grandfather, a lot of beautiful needlework and an adobe Nativity scene.
The homes are open from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $10 and will be available after Mass at 6 p.m. today and 10 a.m. Sunday at St. Columba Catholic Church as well as at each of the homes.
This is always fun, and the touring attendees leave full of ideas to take home to beautify their own homes during the holidays. Many families use it as an excuse for an outing.
The Catholic Daughters use the funds raised to support a number of local charities. In the past, those have included the Adopt-a-Student program at St. Columba School, the Durango Pregnancy Center (where they also held a baby shower for a number of expectant mothers this year), Manna Soup Kitchen and the Volunteers of America’s Southwest Safehouse.
The Catholic Daughters have given away more than $15,000 in cash during the last 10 years, along with school supplies for students staying at VOA shelters, much of it raised from the Doorways to a Durango Christmas.
The weatherman says Sunday is supposed to be a sunny day, so it will be perfect for making the tour. (And sometimes there are cookies!)
Trying to fit in a birthday celebration amid the holiday hoopla are Nick Branson, Doug Wolfe, Patricia Strumpf, Eloise Talbert, Patrick Leach, Henry Friemuth, John Condie, Ian Ellingson-Condie, Laurie Hakes, Kathryn Lavengood, Nick Salter, Amanda Gardner, Aimee DeSouchet, Angie Raulston, Pat Root, Paul Schadt, Dillon Coleman, Conner Coleman, Tyler Dugan, Michelle Jungerberg, Trina Martin, Dianne Pratt, Anne Putnam and Greg Kavanagh.
Sunday is the first of four Local Benefit Days each ski season when Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort donates a portion of lift-ticket sales to area nonprofits.
This year, DMR is doing it a little differently. While each of this year’s selected nonprofits, Medicine Horse Center, Big Brothers Big Sisters of La Plata County, Annie’s Orphans and the Sexual Assault Services Organization, will take turns hosting a day, all four will be represented on all four Locals Benefit Days, and all four will split the proceeds from each day.
Jola Schraub, who volunteers with Annie’s Orphans, said this will be more equitable, because participation on each day can vary widely depending on the weather, if there are car accidents or some big game airing on TV.
I think it’s very generous of DMR to give up a substantial chunk of the proceeds from four Sundays – one of the two big days of the week – in prime season.
Visit www.skipurg.com/benefitdays to print the coupon that’s required for the discounted lift tickets – oh, did I forget to mention that Locals Benefit Days also benefit the skiers? The discount means lift tickets for adults are $40, young adults and seniors ski for $32, and it’s $25 for children and super seniors.
Adults who want to commit to skiing at least three of the Benefit Days – the others are Jan. 12, Feb. 9 and March 2 – can get a four-day Benefit Days punch pass either at DMR’s offices in Bodo Park or the ticket office on the mountain for a sweet $99.
I understand there also are discounted child care services available for participants and season-pass holders.
These are all worthy causes, so if you are moved to make an additional donation or just want to learn more about what they do, each should have a tent at the base with materials and volunteers.
(And rumor has it Annie’s will have some dogs available for adoption, too, so go prepared to lose your heart.)
How could anything be finer than a sunny day on the slopes knowing you’re making a difference in our community while having fun?
A person would have to be new to the community or never have read Neighbors not to know how much I enjoy Music in the Mountains.
Not only is the Festival Orchestra a top-notch symphony under the direction of talented music director and conductor Guillermo Figueroa, but the soloists who perform with the orchestra also are among the best in the world.
That was borne out this week when the November issue of BBC News ran an article about “The 20 Greatest Violinists of the Recorded Era.” The Top 20 were selected by 100 of today’s leading players.
And guess what? Not one, not two, but three soloists who have performed at Music in the Mountains, including two regulars, were named to the Top 20.
We have watched Vadim Gluzman and Philippe Quint grow into the mature musicians they have become – including the memorable summer of 2006, when they played “dueling” violins. And Rachel Barton-Pine, who knocked the socks off the audience at the 2013 festival with Henri Vieuxtemps’ rarely heard Violin Concerto No. 5 in A minor, was also named among the elite.
While mega-congratulations go to Gluzman, Quint and Barton-Pine, the best news is for us.
Gluzman and Quint will both be back for this summer’s festival in July. Hurrah!
“Vadim, Philippe and Rachel are crown jewels of our festival,” Artistic Director Greg Hustis said. “Isn’t it nice they are the same crown jewels one finds at the biggest, best-known and prestigious festivals around the world?”
Yes, it is.
Stealing some kisses under the mistletoe for their anniversaries are Frank and Linda Tikalsky, Tom and Ann Duft, Kip and Laura Stransky, and Larry and Lauren Rardin.
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