Spectacular house tour raises $25K for charity

500 guests toured 9 Goshen homes and 2 historic locations


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  • The Kelly family (Photo provided)




  • The Toohey family (Photo provided)




— It was a busy day for the seven Goshen homeowners who warmly welcomed 500 guests into their homes for a look at their Christmas finery.

Guests were also treated to two historic locations, The Stagecoach Inn and the Goshen Music Hall, which featured a special winter art exhibit curated by the Goshen Art League.

The Catholic Charities Community Services of Orange and Sullivan’s third annual Goshen Christmas House Tour was a day full of fun and festivities on Dec. 2 raised more than $25,000 in support of Catholic Charities’ mission to provide help and create hope for those most in need in the community.

“The Goshen House Tour is a great way to kick-off the Christmas season,” said Susan Murray Tetz, House Tour Committee Chair and long-time Catholic Charities board member. “Spectacularly decorating the family home for Christmas and welcoming 500 guests in to take a peek is a significant ask of our homeowners. We were so blessed to have the support of seven very generous families, as well as our friends at the Goshen Music Hall and Stagecoach Inn, who opened their hearts and their homes and gave so generously of their time, talent, and treasure to raise much-needed funds for those served locally by Catholic Charities.”

Guests checked in at the Harness Racing Museum, where they were treated to live holiday music from several student ensembles from the Goshen High School Music Department. They enjoyed fresh-baked goods from ShopRite Supermarkets, home-made cookies from the Bellvale Bruderhof Community, and hot apple cider from Soons Orchards.

All but two of the locations in the self-guided tour were in the Village of Goshen. Each location was unique in its decorating style and presentation of the Christmas theme.

Father George Hafemann, pastor at St. John’s Church in Goshen and a Catholic Charities board member, offered a blessing at each home prior to the start of the Tour. Students from John S. Burke Catholic High School and Goshen High School Leo Club members volunteered at the homes, assisting homeowners with a variety of tasks to welcome guests.

Before starting out, tour participants received a guidebook that featured a map, photo, and description of each location, as well as advertisements, special offers, and holiday wishes from house tour sponsors and supporters.

The funds raised from the annual tour go directly toward supporting the anti-poverty programs of Catholic Charities, which includes emergency food and shelter assistance

Planning has already begun for the 2018 tour, which will be held Saturday, Dec. 1. Anyone interested in featuring their home should contact Sheila Toohey at 294-5124 ext. 308 or sheila.toohey@cccsos.org.

About Catholic CharitiesCatholic Charities Community Services of Orange and Sullivan, as one of the human service agencies of Catholic Charities of The Archdiocese of New York, is committed to building a compassionate and just society. Catholic Charities Community Services serves the homeless, the hungry, the emotionally and physically handicapped, and immigrants, as well as the marginalized and vulnerable of Orange and Sullivan Counties. Catholic Charities collaborates with parishes, Catholic, and non-Catholic partners alike to help people of all religions who are in need. For more information, visit cccsos.org.



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