The Story City Yulefest Tour of Homes is more than just an opportunity to see some lovely houses in the community. It’s more than a potential source of inspiration to decorate for the holidays. The Tour of Homes is also a way to support community projects and people.
The annual tour of three Story City homes is organized by three local women’s organizations, P.E.O. Chapter FZ, Hook & Eye Questers and Praeri Rail Trail Questers. Those groups use the proceeds from the tour to support various things in the community.
This year, the Tour of Homes is being held Saturday, Dec. 1, and Sunday, Dec. 2. The tour features the home of Louis and Tepricia Reeder, located at 618 Riverhills Dr., which is sponsored by P.E.O. Chapter FZ; the home of Jeff and Lisa Tjelta, 844 Elm Ave., sponsored by the Hook & Eye Questers; and the home of Ashley Geneser and Jerilyn Geneser, 13241 George Washington Carver Ave., sponsored by the Praeri Rail Trail Questers.
The Bartlett Museum is a free bonus stop on this year’s Tour of Homes. Visitors to the Bartlett House will be able to view dollhouses on display throughout the house, including a variety of different styles and eras. Complimentary refreshments will be served.
In the fall of 1986, the three local service organizations decided to join forces for a community fundraiser — a Christmas tour of homes, with each club sponsoring one home. Three decades later, the groups continue to successfully combine their efforts to support a variety of projects and organizations in the community.
P.E.O. FZ promotes the education of women. Since 1988, Chapter FZ has awarded a scholarship to a Roland-Story young woman to attend a university or college.
They also recommend and sponsor an exceptional Roland-Story senior woman for the P.E.O. STAR Scholarship. A highly competitive scholarship, she must exemplify excellence in leadership, academics, extracurricular activities, community service and potential for future success.
The Educational Loan Fund is available to women who wish to attain a higher degree or certification from an accredited post-secondary educational institution but are in need of financial assistance.
Chapter FZ is proud to have facilitated low interest loans for at least 17 teachers within the Roland-Story School District to pursue their master’s degree. In addition to promoting education for women, Chapter FZ has donated to the Story City Bertha Bartlett Public Library building fund drive.
Praeri Rail Trail Questers donated to the Bertha Bartlett Public Library, renovation of the Grand Viking Hall and the Story Theater/Grand Opera House and gave items to City Hall and the Chamber Office.
They were supporters of moving the Sheldahl School to Story City and continue to provide for furnishings and more recently a new roof for the school house.
Praeri Rail Trail has donated regularly to the Story City Carousel and secured a $6,000 grant from Questers International for the most recent restoration of the animals.
They have been a long-time contributor to the Story City Historical Society. Projects they have supported for the Bartlett Museum have included everything from wallpaper to furnishings to exterior paint. The Carriage House Museum, completed in 2008, receives funding on a regular basis from Praeri Rail Trail including archival supplies, display cases and materials for museum exhibits. They also often try to supply “in kind” support to Story City Historical Society for their regular events.
Hook and Eye Questers helped with several Story City projects such as the restoration of the North Park Gazebo. They purchased church pews for the Story City Carousel, matted and framed the carousel history in calligraphy and helped fund the repair of the calliope.
They provided a cast iron stove and period kerosene lamps with electrified reflectors for the Sheldahl School House. Supporting the Carriage House Museum, they cleaned glass negatives from Hansen Studio and printed and sleeved photos for the archival albums.
Hook and Eye Questers undertook the porch restoration, purchased pillars, bought period light fixtures, completely furnished both the sewing room and sun room, and provided the Victorian Christmas decorations for the Bartlett House Museum.
Hook and Eye Questers have applied for and received state and international Preservation and Restoration Grants which have helped to improve and maintain all four historical sites in Story City.
Tickets for the Tour of Homes are $8 and may be purchased at the Story City Greater Chamber Connection office, 524 Broad St.; NuCara Pharmacy, 621 Broad St.; or from any P.E.O. or Questers member. Tickets will also be available for $10 at the featured homes during the tour.