Appetizing Homes

What: “Sharing the Holidays with Women First,” a tour of homes.
When: Tuesday, Dec. 9, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: The three homes featured are 30 Ridgeway Drive; 4521 Ridgemoor Drive; and Cypress Lane, all in Belden. Because of a lack of parking, tour participants are asked to park at the Country Club and be shuttled to the home on Cypress Lane.
What's there: Cheese balls, cookbooks, pillows, throws, decorative boxes, aprons and ornaments will be for sale at the home on Cypress Lane. Hors d'oeuvres will also be served at this home.
Cost: Tickets are $10 and may be purchased at Women First Resource Center, 215 N. Gloster, Suite D, in Tupelo; at Scrapbooks and More, East Heights Pharmacy and Curves in Tupelo; and at the door of any of the homes.
Why: All proceeds from the tours will benefit the Women First Breast Cancer Support Group and Resource Center. For more information, call 842-5725.

BY GINNA PARSONS

Daily Journal

BELDEN – If anyone knows how to pinch a penny, it's the volunteers at Women First Breast Cancer Support Group and Resource Center in Tupelo.

They use a color printer to make their own greeting cards to send to women undergoing breast cancer treatment. Rather than use a cleaning service, they do their own vacuuming and dusting at their office on North Gloster Street. They write grants, year after year, hoping to bring in enough money to keep their doors open.

Last fall, at the last minute, they threw together a tour of homes to help cover regular monthly expenses, such as gas money for women to get to and from cancer treatment and mammograms for women who are referred to Women First by other agencies.

“We did so much better with the tour than we expected,” said Judy Hester, a volunteer at Women First and a breast cancer survivor. “We made $5,000, which went to the operation of the center and to help women.”

This year, they're hoping to do even better.

This year's tour is set for Tuesday, Dec. 9, from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. The tour features three homes in Belden; two are in the Ridgeway subdivision and one is in the Country Club area. Tickets are $10.

“Last year, we had more than 200 people to come through,” Hester said. “This year, our hope is more than 300 people.”

While the homes are something to see – all feature several Christmas trees decorated in themes or with handmade ornaments and two of the homes have multiple Christmas villages set up – the holiday decorations just may be upstaged by the hors d'oeuvres.

Appetizers will be served at Betty Wood's home on Cypress Lane in the Country Club area (participants will need to take a shuttle from the Country Club to Wood's home because of a lack of parking). Hors d'oeuvres will include German meatballs, cooked pimiento cheese, cherry cheese ball, spicy snack crackers, black bean soup, Hawaiian coconut spread, pecan mini muffins, bacon-cream cheese ball, Texas caviar, cheesy cheese ball and toffee crackers.

Once again, Women First will have a cookbook for sale: “Sharing the Holidays with Women First – Brunches, Lunches and Munchies.” The cookbooks is $10 and will be available only at Wood's home. It includes recipes for most of the food that will be served Tuesday.

“Last year, we found that people came in, grabbed a snack and then toured the home,” Hester said. “Then they ended back up at the food table, where'd they'd graze. When they'd ask for a recipe, we'd direct them to the cookbook we had for sale.”

All the supplies and food items needed to make the appetizers have been donated, Hester said, so what the volunteers make from the tour will be pure profit.

“We do as much as we can, but we can't do it all because we don't have a lot of money,” Hester said. “But we're here to help women in any way we possibly can. This is our major fund-raiser. This tour is what keeps our doors open.”