There’s no place like ‘Homes for the Holidays’

By From page B2 | November 23, 2012


A DECORATED entry leads to a room with stockings hung with care at the Roberts' El Dorado Hills home. The house is on the Assistance League of Sierra Foothills holiday home tour. Democrat photo by Pat Dollins

What: “Homes for the Holidays”

Who: Assistance League of Sierra Foothills

Where: Homes in El Dorado Hills

When: Saturday, Dec. 1 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 2 from noon to 5 p.m.

Cost: $20 for adults and $12 for children


The “Winter Wonderland” month — December —  is nearly here.

Soon, the joyous strains of Christmas music will be heard over the radio. Kitchens will be filled with the scents of holiday feasts and treats. Children will share games and family traditions will be made. Stores will have their holiday décor up.

There is a warmth and glow to this season that brings out the best in America. Americans are generous. The thought that anyone is “missing out” just seems, well, wrong.

There is a way El Dorado County residents can make a difference locally and share the joys of this season.

For the third year the Assistance League of Sierra Foothills is continuing a tradition to bring true joy into the season — “Homes for the Holidays,” a self-guided tour.

The organization invites owners of some of El Dorado Hills’ most beautiful holiday homes to open their doors and raise funds for those in need in the county.

“Homes for the Holidays is a charity event benefiting people in need within our county to achieve a better quality of life,” said Debra Bogowitz, publicity chairwoman for the event. “This year six beautiful homes are all dressed up for the holidays. Three homes and one model home are located within the gates of the Serrano Country Club.”

The event will be held Saturday, Dec. 1, and Sunday, Dec. 2.

As a bonus on the tour, Pottery World will provide holiday floral demonstrations.

Grapes and Ivy of Folsom will provide holiday table setting displays to inspire creations at home.

And there’s more. Raffle prizes include “You’re Going to Need a Bigger Wine Cellar” (100 bottles of wine donated by local wineries) and “Bounty of the County” (a gourmet’s and a gourmand’s dream, donated by local restaurants and grocery stores). Some $5,000 in raffle prizes will be offered.

Homeowners on the tour are decorating their homes to welcome all comers. El Dorado Hills Fire Chief Dave Roberts and his wife Sondra are looking forward to sharing their love for the season with the community.

“Sondra has always gone overboard for Christmas,” Dave said. “So much so that during last year’s holiday home tour a friend suggested we open our home.”

The Roberts home is a pale yellow Victorian filled with architectural detail and the Christmas spirit. There are trees in nearly every room of the house … and check out the “man cave” on the second floor.

It’s Dave’s favorite place and it well could be Santa’s, too. There is a unique bar, a very large popcorn machine and theater seating. “Home theater” doesn’t begin to come close to describe this space.

Visitors will find themselves wishing they could come over to the Roberts’ home to play.

The Roberts are looking forward to having their home on the tour.

“It’s for such a great cause,” Sondra said. “We designed and built our house for our family. We aren’t pretentious … We are real people. And we are happy to share our home.”

Each home on the tour will feature glittering garlands, magnificent holiday collections and dramatically decorated Christmas trees.

This event will benefit people in need through the Assistance League’s unique, hands-on involvement and innovative philanthropic programs.

Assistance League volunteers live in the communities they serve and all the funds raised are used in El Dorado County.

Assistance League volunteers provide warm, comfortable and appropriate new school clothing to needy children through Operation School Bell. Sports equipment and registration scholarships help children play organized sports when families cannot afford the cost through the Sports Locker program.

The Assistance League operates a senior holiday shopping spree for participants in the Placerville Senior Day Care Center activities. It provides assault survivor kits to victims of physical assault.

The league also helps students to develop literacy skills and does so much more.

“This is a charity event benefiting people in need within our county to achieve a better quality of life. There is such need, especially as you drive up the hill,” said Bogowitz. “Families in the east side of the county — especially in South Lake Tahoe — have been especially hard hit by the economy. They need help.”

This two-day holiday tour will not only lighten spirits; it also will remind visitors of the magic of the season – truly, the “Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” organizers said.

Tickets to the “Homes for the Holidays” tour are $20 for adults, $12 for children. Pick them up online at, click on Homes for the Holidays under Upcoming Events, or at the California Welcome Center in Town Center in El Dorado Hills.

Susan Laird

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