Sugar Plum Tour taking place in person and virtually this year

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Above and below to the right are two unique pieces in homes featured in the 2020 Sugar Plum Tour of Holiday Homes. This year’s event will take place live on December 5th and virtually from December 11th to 12th. Photos: Starr Films LLC

GRAND AKRON – Some of the area’s finest historic and contemporary homes will be opening their doors for the Sugar Plum Vacation Home Tour this year.
The Sugar Plum Tour is Akron’s first vacation home tour and the main fundraiser for the Akron Community Foundation (ACF) Gay Community Endowment Fund, according to ACF officials. This year’s 20th anniversary live event will feature five homes on December 5 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., while the virtual tour will feature professionally filmed and narrated tours of eight homes from December 11 to 12.
According to ACF, among the houses featured on this year’s tour is a spectacular Tudor with an open-air summer house in Bath; a newly renovated Georgian mansion in Fairlawn Heights; a massive brick house with luxury features in the heart of Bath; a whimsical and eclectic colonial in West Akron; and a custom built sprawling country house in a private cul-de-sac in Bath.
Following the live tour, event sponsors will be invited to a private party at the new Chateau Fifty Event Center, located in the former Firestone Estate in West Akron. Built in 1927, the 14,000 square foot French neoclassical chateau boasts antique marble fireplaces, a grand ornamental wrought-iron staircase, embellished moldings and other period furniture recently restored in the style of Louis XVI and the chateau of Versailles. Sponsors will also be able to enjoy food and drinks while exploring both the main house and the shed on the property, ACF officials noted.
Entrance tickets cost $ 35 each for live or virtual tours or $ 60 for both. They can be purchased at www.sugarplumtour.org. Customers who purchase tickets before November 1 will receive an early bird discount of $ 5. Tickets for the live tour can also be purchased on the day of the event at Angel Falls Coffee Co., 792 W. Market St. in Highland Square.
Sponsorships start at $ 500 and include tickets for live and virtual tours, admission to the Patrons’ Private Party, a commemorative holiday ornament, and other perks. Sponsorships must be received by November 1 to be included in promotional material.
Printed and digital tourist guides with maps of places of residence will be available to all visitors.
According to ACF officials, last year’s Sugar Plum Tour raised over $ 100,000 for the Gay Community Endowment Fund, which supports programs that positively impact the local LGBTQ + community, as well as the Grand Akron as a whole. Recent grants from the fund have created safer environments for LGBTQ + youth, tackled phobias in the LGBTQ + community, and supported mental health and suicide prevention programs for LGBTQ + people, among other initiatives.
The live Sugar Plum Tour 2021 is presented by Matt and Lisa Kaulig. The virtual tour is presented by Fran Bittle. This year’s tour homes are sponsored by Gregory Hail and Matthew Culler; Chad Immel, by Edward Jones; Jones Group Interiors Charity Fund; Robert and Babette Medcalf, Net Revenue Associates LLC; Dr Kate Raymond and Michelle Krocker, Raymond Dental Group; and the Read family.
Founded in 2001, the Gay Community Endowment Fund is a permanent philanthropic endowment of ACF. Since its inception, the fund has reached nearly $ 2 million while reinvesting more than $ 630,000 in the community, according to ACF officials. Contributions of any amount are welcome and support future grants. Checks should be sent to Akron Community Foundation, 345 W. Cedar St., Akron, OH 44307, with Gay Community Endowment Fund in the memo line. Donations can also be directed to the GCEF Scholarship Fund. For more information or to contribute, call 330-376-8522 or visit www.gaycommunityfund.org.

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