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Wellesley house-decorating contest a fundraiser

Claire Barrel wanted to do something special for those who help out in Wellesley. Just in time for the holidays, the village resident and mother wants to start a holiday tradition and fundraising effort for the Wilmot Resource Centre, which organizes a popular drop-in centre in Wellesley.

“I was trying to think of raising a little bit of money for the Wilmot Resource Centre in New Hamburg. They are Wilmot Township of course but they do come to Wellesley to do a drop-in centre for the small children in the neigbourhood and it’s used quite a bit by the moms in the area; there are a lot of kids in Wellesley now,” she explained.

Over the Christmas holidays, co-organizers of the Best Dressed House fundraiser in Wellesley Claire Barrel (right) and Becky Hill hope to bring out the inner festive decorators in the township’s citizens. [elena maystruk / the observer]
Having lived in Wellesley for six years, Barrel saw an opportunity to showcase the township’s beauty come yuletide by organizing a house-decorating contest, with proceeds from registration fees going to the WRC.

“I just though it’s so pretty to see the houses all lit up for Christmas and I was thinking about National Lampoon and how some people go absolutely crazy,” she said of the Christmas movie starring Chevy Chase, now a holiday staple “I started thinking about maybe having a friendly competition in the neighbourhood to see who could dress their house the nicest. Then people would be able to vote.”

First she approached Mothers of Wellesley; a tight-knit group, some of whom use the services of the Wilmot Resource Centre. After receiving good reviews on the idea, Barrel plunged into the organization of it all.

Wellesley’s decorating enthusiasts register their house with Barrel and start decorating. The goal is to have maps of the township handed out to its residents, with each house represented by a star.

Local families can take a stroll or a drive to locations around the township and vote on their favorite house decorations. Flip to the back of the map and you can find a list of registered houses next to a checkbox. Viewers can check a box and drop off their vote at 1101 Henry St. in Wellesley Village.

The registration fee is $10, with all of the funds going to the organization. From December 1-6, those interested in participating can drop of an address, their theme and the registration fee at the same location and slip it into the locked drop box in front of the house. The votes will be tallied on December 15, the day after Wellesley’s Christmas parade, and a winner will receive a trophy with a “V” for victory. Participants are free to be as creative or minimalistic as they wish, and crazy themes are welcome.

“I’m happy to organize it again next year and see if we get more people out and maybe next year it’ll be a different charity that gets the money I don’t know but I think for now Wilmot Resource Centre does support Wellesley Township so I though it was a nice way to give back,” she said.

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