Walking into Joanne Masone’s home on Belleview Drive instantly puts you in the mood for Christmas.
The front door is garnished with greens and topped with a beautiful wreath. Inside is the scent of Christmas spices while the sitting room hosts a crackling fire complete with a tastefully decorated tree. There isn’t a room in the house untouched by Christmas—including the bathrooms.
Masone’s home isn’t located at the North Pole, and she isn’t going to be on the Style Network. Instead, her home is tastefully ornamented for a very worthy cause.
METAvivor Research and Support, a group that raises funds and awareness for metastatic (Stage IV) breast cancer, will host its annual Holiday Home Tour in Severna Park homes on Saturday.
This is the fourth year that the group will host the Holiday Homes Tour, but the first time that all six homes on the tour are located in Severna Park.
“I know so many people here in Severna Park that have beautiful homes and I thought it would be a great location,” said Avis Halberstadt, who was diagnosed with metastatic cancer in 2007. “All the homes are decorated so differently—it’s really going to be great.”
Halberstadt, who taught in Severna Park schools for 13 years, has been involved with METAvivor since it started in 2007, just months after she was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer. She was originally diagnosed with cancer in 1998 and learned that it had spread to her stomach in 2007.
“I have been almost a 15-year survivor and usually they tell you that you have two to three years, I am cured of stomach cancer although my stomach tells me everyday if this is a cure then I don’t know,” Halberstadt said with a laugh. “I am always on treatment though and there’s no chance it is going away.”
On Saturday, with the purchase of a ticket, area residents can tour the six homes, five decorated for Christmas, and one for Hanukkah. Masone’s home is one of the five Christmas homes.
Masone said she has been decorating for almost three weeks in preparation for Saturday.
“I love decorating for Christmas,” she said. “It is one of my favorite things to do and to have it be for such a good cause made it that much more enjoyable and fun for me. Hopefully other people would enjoy it as well.”
Along with viewing beautifully decorated houses, tour-goers will also enjoy live music and refreshments at each of the six homes.
“It should be really nice. We even have a surprise visitor coming to every house,” Halberstadt said.
Tickets for the tour are $32 in advance and $37 on the day of the tour. All of the proceeds will go to metastatic breast cancer research. Halberstadt said cancer becomes metastatic when it leaves the breast and travels through the blood stream to other areas of the body.
“Thirty percent of women and men initially diagnosed with breast cancer get Stage IV cancer,” Halberstadt said. “So it would make sense that 30 percent of research money used for breast cancer goes to Stage IV, but actually only 2 percent does.”
Saturday’s home tour is one of three major fundraisers METAvivor organizes each year.
“It’s such a wonderful cause and such a great way to spend your time with families all to benefit such a good organization,” Masone said. “It is a great way to spend a Saturday”
The Holiday Home Tour will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets can be purchased online at www.metavivor.org or at one of the participating homes on Saturday.