Christmas tour Saturday a fundraiser for Chippewa Valley Symphony

Chippewa Valley Symphony fundraiser takes viewers on tour of six sites

posted Nov. 21, 2015 12:00 a.m. (CDT)
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by / Friends of the Symphony

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    - Kevin and Emily Willems’ home on 475 Roosevelt Ave. is a colonial-style house and formerly the home of John and Katherine Bonner from 1950 to 2002 in Eau Claire’s Historic Third Ward neighborhood. The site is one of six stops on a Christmas tour that serves as a fundraiser for the Chippewa Valley Symphony Orchestra. This is the 17th year of the event.
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    Forage, at Banbury Place, will be decorated for Christmas during the tour. Attendees can enjoy wine and cheese tasting.
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    - Pictured is a griffin — a mythical beast with the body of a lion and head and wings of an Eagle, featured at the historic home of Brig. Gen. Michael Griffin, a civil war veteran, Eau Claire district attorney, and Congressman. This Queen Anne Victorian-style home located at 920 South Farwell St. now houses the Freund Law Offices.
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    This 1906 historic tudor home, 132 Marston Ave., houses a collection of Stickley furniture from 1902 to present productions.

Christmas comes early this year at six decorated homes open for tours today, which will be accompanied with music provided by the Chippewa Valley Symphony Orchestra.

The 17th annual Christmas Stroll includes light refreshments at Lake Street United Methodist Church, a wine and cheese pairing at Forage and a souvenir Stickley furniture catalog.

Additional Info

The tour runs 1 to 5 p.m. today. Tickets for $20 can be purchased at Lake Street United Methodist Church, open from 1 to 4 p.m., or at the stroll homes.

Anton Smets and Rae Schilling-Smets

28 Newton St.

Ralph S. Owen built this colonial home overlooking Owen Park in 1939. The current owners have preserved the best of the original detailing while opening up the floor plan for more contemporary living, complementing their modern art collection. 

The Schilling family’s 1925 player piano has been restored and its music will greet strollers who will be warmed by this home’s six fireplaces.

Peter and Janet Copeland

132 Marston Ave.

The historic 1906 “James Barber Home” occupies an entire city block, and is now furnished almost exclusively with a collection of Stickley furniture representing more than a century of product lines — each stroll guest will receive a historical product catalogue. 

While this tudor revival home has been on the tour in the past, additional floors will be open for Christmas strollers this year.

Dan and Deb Freund

920 South Farwell St.

Justice continues to be done in the 1885 Queen Anne Victorian home built by William Dean, later home to former city attorney and state Sen. Michael Griffin. The home currently houses the law offices of Dan Freund and Stella Pagonis.

Kevin and Emily Willems

475 Roosevelt Ave.

A colonial in Eau Claire’s Historic Third Ward, the John and Katherine Bonner home from 1950 to 2002 has been lovingly and creatively expanded and decorated by Emily and Kevin Willems to complement their busy and fun-filled family life. Explore the nooks and crannies of all four levels of their home.

Forage, Banbury Place

930 Galloway St.

There is a Latin term, “tabula rasa,” meaning “blank slate,” which is exactly what Forage is, except with a commercial kitchen and a culinary focus — it can be whatever you want it to be on any given day. 

This afternoon Forage will be decorated for Christmas, and symphony guests will enjoy a complimentary wine and cheese tasting and can also sign up for a gift basket drawing. Enter Banbury Place, Building 13, via the green awning.

Holland Ravelle

Elk Mound

Christmas spirit abounds in this country home on sprawling acreage, with a must-see Christmas tree. Be transported by the artwork of modern American painters in the upstairs children’s rooms. 

Due to a lack of parking space at the site, shuttles will be provided to and from the Ravelle home in Elk Mound by Cody Limousines. 

Meet in the parking lot of Menards Conference Center, 5150 Old Mill Plaza, near the intersection of U.S. 312 and North Town Hall Road. 

The last shuttle leaves at 4:30 p.m.

The Friends of the Symphony fundraises to support the Chippewa Valley Symphony Orchestra.