Choctaw Lake site of home and garden tour

Messenger photo by Kristy Zurbrick

A kitchen featuring oak cabinets, stainless steel appliances and hard-surface countertops is just one part of a large remodeling project Saundra and Terry LaPrise tackled when they purchased their home at Choctaw Lake in 2005. The project doubled the size of the original home, which was built in 1970 and known as “the little red house” among lake residents. The LaPrises’ home is part of a June 28 home and garden tour to benefit A Friend’s House.

The LaPrises’ added an upper story during their renovation project.
One of Saundra LaPrise’s favorite views of the interior of her home is from the upstairs railing, looking down into the living room.
The LaPrise home sits on Choctaw Lake.

Choctaw Lake is the site of the second annual home tour to benefit A Friend’s House, Madison County’s domestic violence shelter program.

“About 340 people attended our first home tour last year. We raised over $4,000. We were really happy with how it turned out,” said Sue Ellen Hughes, director of A Friend’s House. Last year’s tour featured historic homes on North Main Street in London.

This year’s fundraiser, which is set for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 28, will feature Choctaw homes with lakeside frontage. Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased the day of the event at the Re/MAX office at 3170 Old Columbus Rd. Tickets include admission to participating homes, maps, refreshments and goodie bags.

For an additional $2, ticket-holders can take pontoon boat rides, during which a guide will talk about the history of the lake and some of the homes. Boat rides will take off from the dock next to Choctaw Lake Lodge. The cost for non-ticket-holders is $5.

Weather permitting, Re/MAX will offer tethered balloon rides. The cost is $5 for ticket-holders or $7 for non-ticket-holders.

The homes and/or gardens on the tour are as follows:

• Charles and Mary Kay Withrow, 3060 Old Columbus Rd., garden only (features over 50 different varieties of perennials)

• Larry and Esther Wheeler, 2645 W. Choctaw, garden only (may show home, too, if kitchen remodeling project is done in time)

• Saundra and Terry LaPrise, 2885 Cheyenne, home and garden

• Bob and Sue Hackett, 2050 Palouse, home

• Patrick and Misti Campbell, 2125 Chickasaw, home

• Paul and Nancy Nutt, 2599 W. Choctaw, home

• The Blazers, 1015 Chickasaw, home

• Andy and Dorothy Mauck, 1849 Shoshone, home

• Julie Halverson, 1590 Itewamba Trail, home and garden

More homes or gardens might be added to the tour.

The event is one of several fundraisers A Friend’s House is holding this year. Last week, the organization coordinated a cornhole tournament during the London Strawberry Festival. On Aug. 23, they will hold a dinner and silent auction at St. John’s Lutheran Church in London.

“Financially, we’re hanging in there,” said Hughes. “If our fundraisers go well, we will be OK through the end of the year.”

Due to cuts in funding, the domestic violence shelter stopped taking in clients from June to October of last year. The shelter reopened in October. Even with the closure, the program served 17 women and 12 children last year, fielded 90 crisis calls, and provided court advocacy for 83 individuals.

A Friend’s House first opened in December 2001.

For more information about the home and garden tour or A Friend’s House, call Sue Ellen Hughes at 740-852-7761.

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