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Bath Home Tour reaches beyond township

5/9/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Kathleen Folkerth

Custom cabinets and a hammered copper island stand out in the kitchen of one of the homes in the Bath Volunteers for Service Home Tour.
BATH — The homes and gardens on the Bath Volunteers for Service (BVS) Home Tour may be in Bath Township, but the proceeds will help those throughout the Akron area.

One of the homes on this year’s Bath Volunteers for Service Home Tour features a dining room that can seat 20 and an artistically designed fireplace façade.
Photos courtesy of Bath Volunteers for Service
The 36th annual event takes place this year May 23, with four homes plus a garden being opened to ticketholders.

Chairing the event is Debbie Brown and her co-chair, Mary McMakin. Brown said she’s been involved with the BVS’ biggest fundraiser every year since joining the group 13 years ago.

Proceeds from the day are distributed by BVS to more than a dozen organizations and programs. While many are Bath or Revere Local Schools related, others are groups that serve people in need throughout Summit County.

In 2012, BVS provided funds to Family Promise of Summit County, Good Samaritan Hunger Center, Mental Health America of Summit County, Pregnancy Care of Summit County, Rebuilding Together Summit County and Victory Gallop, among others.

Brown said the tour requires all the BVS members to volunteer that day, and many of them recruit family members and friends to help as well. It takes about 100 people to help that day for the tour that attracts more than 500 people every year, Brown said.

She added that many tourgoers have made the event a tradition.

“Before joining BVS, I went on the tour just to see what it was,” she said. “I sat down for lunch, and the people sitting with me, some of them were from Columbus. It turns out they’ve been doing this for years. They stay with a friend and have a girls’ day together.”

She said others make the event a mother-daughter day or couples’ outing.

“They get out, get to tour around and see different places,” Brown said. “The nice thing is it features houses that most of us wouldn’t get into otherwise.”

Here are some details of this year’s tour homes:

  • A lodge-style home built in 2012 features a wall of windows overlooking a 4-acre lake. The home’s master bath has a heated floor and a unique shower with built-in seating. The kitchen boasts custom cabinets and a hammered copper island, while the dining room also offers lake views.
  • Family photos and works of art are the highlight in another home, which features a formal dining room that seats up to 20. A great room added in 1992 includes a wood-planked ceiling and a circular staircase to the master suite.
  • With the Cuyahoga Valley National Park as its backdrop, the next home brings the feel of a Tuscan villa to its design. The expansive great room’s wall of windows overlooks the family swimming pool. In addition to a children’s “sleepover” room, there’s a 400-bottle wine cellar and media room.
  • A Williamsburg-style Colonial features antiques and a recently remodeled master bath. The property also features a sculpture garden, deck with hot tub and bar and carriage house with pinball machines and an All-American Soap Box Derby car.

In addition, the tour features a garden that Brown said was on the tour in the 1970s. The garden features extensive use of rock and barn stone, along with areas of hostas and small conifers and is an example of using the landscape as a guide. The color scheme is made up of greens and yellows with blue and pink spring flowers.

Serving as tour headquarters once again this year will be Bath Church, 3980 W. Bath Road, where tour-goers will pick up directions to the homes that day beginning at 9:30 a.m. Homes will be open until 3 p.m. Transportation to and from the homes is the responsibility of the ticketholders, and carpooling is recommended.

As in recent years, the home tour also will feature a display of artisans with their handiwork for sale. Artists will remain at the church until 3 p.m.

Bath Church’s Fellowship Hall is the site for lunch catered by Moe’s and informal modeling featuring clothes by Coquette in two sittings, at 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Tour-goers also may pick up their lunches and take them to go.

The organizers stress the tour is not wheelchair accessible. Comfortable shoes also are recommended.

Tickets for the tour are $30 and are available by sending a check payable to Bath Volunteers for Service to P.O. Box 673, Bath, OH 44210. The reservation deadline is May 17. When making reservations, specify a preferred lunchtime of 11 a.m. or 12:30 p.m. For more information, call 330-665-4523 or email bvs.hometour@gmail.com. The group’s website is www.bathvolunteersforservice.com.

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