The Young Matrons of Independence celebrate 70 years of caring for the community by inviting the public to the unforgettable and festive annual Holly and Mistletoe Tour.
An annual fundraiser for this civic organization, the tour features four homes, open to the public on Thursday, Dec, 2, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Each home will showcase the owners' personal Christmas motif with ticket-holders enjoying self-guided tours throughout the day and evening.
The first Holly and Mistletoe Tour was held in 1959 and featured special and unusual Christmas decorations and now 41 years later has grown into what is considered an annual outing for many as to kick off the holiday season.
Steve and Terri Morgan began decorating their 1950s home a month ago and are excited to share their traditional Christmas décor with others.
From handmade Santas to decorated trees in all shapes and sizes, the Morgans' share treasured family heirlooms intertwined with the warmth of holiday cheer. Working at the Scandinavia Place on the historic Independence Square, Terri enjoys the unique and unusual, as well as traditional.
"I enjoy sneaking unexpected pieces into the mix of it all," she said. "It's a surprise around every corner."
The monies raised through the tour and other IYM fundraisers help fund many civic and local organizations. This year alone, IYM provided more than $18,200 in grants and gifts to Andrew Drumm Institute, Boys and Girls Club, Cancer Action, Child Abuse Prevention Association, Dental for Kids, Tabitha's Closet and the Jackson County Free Health Clinic.
Supporting life enhancing services, IYM donated to the Center for the Study of the Korean War, Shepherd's Center of Raytown, Re-Discover, IBS Industries and Mother's Refuge. They also have helped the Puppetry Arts Institute and William Chrisman High School Theater and Broadcast Department along with scholarships and bus transportation for children to special cultural events.
The Young Matron's history of making a difference in the lives of the community ranges from securing the first library and kindergarten class in Independence to forming a Children's Theater.
Along with the four homes on tour, patrons will also have the opportunity to stop by the Sweet Shop located inside Noland Road Baptist Church. Along with sweets and treats for purchase, raffle tickets will be sold for the chance of owning one of five holiday decorations, which will be on display at the church.
Three of the homes on tour are located in Independence and one in Blue Springs. Tickets are on sale now for $10 or $12 at the door the day of the tour. For a list of locations to purchase tickets visit independenceyoungmatrons.com or for more information contact the Tickets Chair at firstname.lastname@example.org.