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Christmas house tours benefit Laboure Center

Guests tour a house during the 25th Annual Laboure Center Christmas House Tour. Pilot photo/Mark Labbe

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SOUTH BOSTON -- The recent 25th Annual Laboure Center Christmas House Tour event, which took place on Dec. 5 and 6, gave guests an opportunity to explore seven elaborately decorated houses in South Boson.

The event, put on by Catholic Charities' Laboure Center, saw more than 800 guests spread out over two days participate in tours of the houses. Guests had the option of either attending tours on Saturday night or touring on Sunday afternoon, with money from ticket sales going to the Laboure Center. Shuttles took groups of guests to the houses.

Every house was given a theme and decorated by a professional designer, and guests were able to walk through them and admire the decorations. The home owners and volunteers with the Laboure Center helped direct people and answer questions.

Houses featured such themes as "An Elegant Lodge Christmas," "Silver Bells and Booties -- Baby's First Christmas," "Black Tie New Years," and more.

Those who attended the Saturday tours were also able to attend a reception and dinner at the Boston Design Center after the tours ended.

Over the past 25 years, the Christmas house tours have raised $2 million that go directly to the Laboure Center, according to Sister Maryadele Robinson, Laboure's executive director.

This year's tours raised over $120,000 for the center.

Michele Hart, chairwoman of the event, explained that many of the houses this year were newer than those from past years.

"The houses are different -- a lot more condominiums we see today that we didn't have here years ago -- but just as beautiful, filled with great families and children. Although it's very different, it's not. It's the same spirit of people coming together as a community and giving of themselves whatever resources, time, money, whatever we need for the good of the whole community," she said.

Those who helped set up the event, including home owners, designers, and other organizers all provided their services on a volunteer basis.

One home owner, Heather Carbone, told The Pilot that she put her home on display because "I think it's for a great cause, and giving back to the community is always very rewarding... I've been living [in South Boston] for seven years, so it's home to me."

She added that she is "looking to start volunteering after the New Year" with the Laboure Center.

Another home owner, Nicole Costello, said that she is new to South Boston, and a friend of hers who is involved with the Laboure Center asked her to participate in the House Tour.

"Laboure does so much for South Boston, so when I was approached, I said absolutely, whatever I can do," said Costello.

The Laboure Center provides services to more than 3,500 children, teens, adults, and elders in South Boston and surrounding communities each year. Youth mentoring and tutoring programs, family support services, Basic Needs Emergency Services, and elder social services are also provided.

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