By the time you read this, it will be too late. If you don’t already have your ticket for the Home Tour sponsored by the Marco Island Woman’s Club, you will probably have to read about it in the newspaper, or ask someone who went.
“We’ve been sold out since January,” said Judy Kenney of Prudential Realty, who is heading up the event. Tickets, when they were available, went for $75.
As always, the tour will feature new, never-before-toured houses, so participants know they will not be viewing the same places they’ve seen before. “We never duplicate a home,” said Kenney.
Approximately 200, overwhelmingly female, will take the tour on Friday, March 9, after meeting at the Marco Island Yacht Club for a breakfast buffet. Then, and only then, are they given the brochure with the specific addresses of the homes on the tour, along with driving directions to each, and they head out in small groups to each home.
“Everybody asks ‘who’s house, who’s house?’ but we want to give the owners their privacy,” said Kenney. It is the generosity of the homeowners in allowing their homes to be shown that makes the home tour possible, she said.
Having individual carloads of visitors keeps down the number of “tourists” touring any one home at a given time, and allows each carful to choose its own course. Often, there is one that draws a crowd anyway, and savvy home lookers who realize they are going around to all of them anyway may opt to leave the best for last – or maybe the middle.
Each home will be staffed by docents from the woman’s club, who will share information on the house and its appointments, and ensure that visitors comply with the requests. Often, the homeowners of the homes being toured are on the tour themselves, making the rounds of the other residences on the tour, said Kenney.
One woman recalled a “melt through the floor” moment on a home tour, when she brightly asked the docent “what’s Mr. Blot-Blot’s claim to fame?” only to have her respond, “Why don’t you ask Mrs. Blot-Blot?” indicating the woman standing next to her.
Each home on the tour has its standout features. One includes a 100-year-old carousel horse, another has unique ceiling designs in each room, a third has a negative-edge pool and a boardwalk leading to the dock. As a hint, one home features a bronze sculpted tomboy out front.
After they have seen the five homes being shown, the “tourists” will return to the MIYC, where they enjoy coffee, desserts, and a fashion show put on by Kay’s on the Beach. Proceeds from the home tour go to the Marco Island Woman’s Club scholarship fund, providing help with higher education for high-achieving island high school students.