La Grande Rotary Holiday Home Tour resurrected

By Dick Mason, The Observer November 23, 2012 01:43 pm

This miniature room is one of five in a doll house owned by Colleen MacLeod of Summerville. The doll house will be one of several MacLeod has that people will see when they to come Joe Beans on Dec. 8 to pick up their programs for the La Grande Rotary HolidayHome Tour. DICK MASON - The Observer
This miniature room is one of five in a doll house owned by Colleen MacLeod of Summerville. The doll house will be one of several MacLeod has that people will see when they to come Joe Beans on Dec. 8 to pick up their programs for the La Grande Rotary HolidayHome Tour. DICK MASON - The Observer

The annual La Grande Rotary Holiday Home Tour is back with new amenities and again a sense of mystery.

The home tour, set for Dec. 8 in La Grande, is returning for a 10th year after a hiatus in 2011. Four homes and four businesses will be featured on the tour. Specific tour locations, which will be decorated to celebrate the season, will not be released until the day of the event. All homes and businesses on the Holiday Home Tour will be in a 10-block area. 

Ticket holders will pick up their programs, which will list locations, at Joe Beans coffee, 1009 Adams Ave. People coming to Joe Beans for the start of the tour will be able see a doll house collection of  Colleen MacLeod of Summerville. 

Features at the homes and businesses on the tour will include displays of works by local artists including Don Gray of Union. The artist will be at one of the homes to greet visitors and discuss his works.

Gray is one of the most respected and best known artists in this region. Such is his reputation that in the mid 1980s he was commissioned by the State of Oregon to paint the official portrait of Gov. Vic Atiyeh. The portrait is displayed in the Capitol.

Gray grew up in La Grande is a 1970 graduate of EOU. He lived in Union for about 25  years  before moving to Arizona. He returned to Union in 2007.

The artist’s many well known works also include ones for the coffee table illustrated books about western history produced by Jerry Gildemeister’s local Bear Wallow publishing  company. 

The Holiday Home Tour, which will run from noon to 4 p.m. is a benefit for local youth programs. Proceeds from the tour will go to the  Drug Free Youth program at La Grande Middle School, the La Grande Rotary Scholar Athlete program, the Rotary Student Exchange program and the Dictionary Project. Free dictionaries are given to all third graders throughout Union County by La Grande Rotarians via the Dictionary Project. 

The Holiday Home Tour was brought after a one year absence by popular demand according to its chair Zee Koza. She said La Grande Rotary members received many calls from people requesting that the home tour be continued. It had become an important part of this area’s holiday season tradition, Koza said.

Home tour tickets are $10 and can be bought from any La Grande Rotarian, or at Sunflower Books and the Union County Chamber of Commerce. There is no charge for children under 10  but they must be accompanied by an adult.

For more information call Koza at (541) 910-7666.