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Home tours to benefit Kelly B. Todd Cerebral Palsy and Neuro-muscular Center

Muskogee Phoenix - 11/28/2018

Nov. 28--Cody and Lauren Deatherage's Christmas tree is filled with memories.

"We have some from different vacations we've been on," Lauren Deatherage said. "Some from college. Different ones from when the children were born."

The family will share their memories this weekend as part of the Christmas Homes Tours, benefitting the Kelly B. Todd Cerebral Palsy and Neuro-muscular Center.

Three homes will be featured on the Candlelight Tour, 7 to 10 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $25 per person and are available at any of the homes. The evening tour features entertainment and food, tour coordinator Joan Odell said.

"Each home has a specific menu and a host that takes care of planning that menu with really nice foods, finger foods with alcoholic and non-alcoholic punch, homemade candy and cookies," she said.

The day tours, 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, feature three Muskogee homes, three Fort Gibson homes. Tickets are $10 per person and are available at each venue.

The Fort Gibson homes are in or near the Dawson Ridge subdivision on Three Mile Road east of Fort Gibson.

Deatherage, whose home is on the day tours, said her mother had been on Christmas home tours in the past. She said the tours benefit a worthy cause.

Emily Key of Fort Gibson said she agreed to be on the tour because she had enjoyed going on home tours. Plus, she said Christmas is her favorite season.

"I'm an occupational therapist. I'm familiar with the Kelly B. Todd Foundation. So, I also wanted to get involved with that myself," she said. "Anything they can do to raise money, that's important for them."

In addition to the houses, his year's day tour features a new business, the Eight Ten Ranch & Cattle Co.

Event center owner Sue Vanderford said she's been involved with the home tour for 34 years. She said and her husband recently opened the center, located along Country Club Road.

Vanderford said the home tour committee was looking for venues.

"I just told them we just built this event center," she said. "I said, 'It's not a house, but if you want it, you're welcome to use it.'"

Kelly B. Todd Cerebral Palsy and Neuro-muscular Center Executive Director Sharon Riggs said the tour is a major fundraiser. She said the center does not charge clients.

"So we have to raise money through fundraisers, grants and donations," Riggs said. "We depend on the Christmas Home Tour committee to help us with the fundraisers."

The tours raise $8,000 to $10,000 a year, she said.

"Families as far away as Vian come for services here," she said. "We provide physical, occupational and speech therapy for the kids that need it. Some come for all three services."

Riggs said it costs about $7,000 per child annually to provide the services. She said the center serves about 180 children a year.

"Some come on a long-term basis," she said. "Other children come just to rehab from injuries."


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