The 22nd annual Court Appointed Special Advocates Christmas Home Tour is set for Dec. 13 and 14 and will feature seven distinctive homes in the master-planned communities of Sienna Plantation and Riverstone as well as homes in First Colony, Lakes of Williams Ranch and Foster Creek Estates.
The CASA tour—which showcases lavish holiday home decorations in some of Sugar Land and Missouri City's premier neighborhoods—is underwritten by the Fred and Mabel R. Parks Foundation. Other underwriters include the Exchange Club of Quail Valley and Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital as well as several other businesses, organizations and individuals.
Proceeds from the event benefit Child Advocates of Fort Bend—a nonprofit organization that provides support and raises awareness for children affected by trauma, abuse and neglect.
"[The event] raises awareness of the issue of child abuse," said Ruthanne Mefford, executive director of Child Advocates of Fort Bend. "It is important for us to get the word out to our community and also let them know there is a place for these children to get help."
According to the organization, about 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 6 boys in the United States will suffer from abuse by the age of 18. The organization started the CASA Home Tour when it was first established 22 years ago and has raised more than $3.5 million through the event.
"This is also our largest fundraiser," Mefford said. "Because everything is donated from businesses and we use volunteers, 95 percent of the proceeds go directly to the children who need it."
About 2,000 guests are expected to attend the tours this year, and the organization is looking for about 1,500 volunteers to help throughout the weekend. The event is expected to raise nearly $200,000—about 20 percent of the organization's annual budget.
Local businesses also come together for the event each year to help with decorations and refreshments. Pat Houck, owner of House of Blooms in Sugar Land Town Square has been involved with the event for five years.
"CASA reaches out to so many individuals within the community," Houck said. "This is one of our ways of giving back to the community."
The event is from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. and includes a tour of each of the seven homes, entertainment from local artists, refreshments and a $15 special tour lunch from 11 a.m.–2 p.m. at Sweetwater Country Club. A candlelight tour is held Dec. 13 from 6–9 p.m.
Tickets are $25 and include all seven tours. Tickets can be purchased the day of the event at the Sweetwater guardhouses at Sweetwater Boulevard and Palm Royale in Sugar Land, or in advance from Fort Bend County Kroger and Randalls grocery stores. Reservations can also be made online at www.cafb.org. For more information on the event or volunteer opportunities, call 281-344-5108.