This year’s Health Share Holiday Home Tour will feature seven decorated sites in Leonardtown.
The 25th annual fundraising event to be held this Sunday, Dec. 8, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $50 for the complete tour, or $10 per home, and can be purchased on Sunday at any one of the seven locations featured in the fundraising event.
Advanced tickets can be purchased at several businesses around St. Mary’s, including Cedar Point Federal Credit Union, Community Bank of The Chesapeake, Apple Basket, Kevin’s Corner Kafe and St. Inie’s Coffee Shop, as well as on the Health Share website, through noon on Saturday, Dec. 7.
Health Share is a nonprofit agency started in 1991 that provides help to those who are underinsured, primarily by assisting with costs of prescription drugs and co-pays for medical care. The organization is run by three partner agencies — Social Service, MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital and the St. Mary’s County Health Department, along with a board of directors.
Those on the tour can expect to be greeted at the seven sites by folks who open their houses or businesses in the Leonardtown area to show how they celebrate Christmas. The hope, organizers said, is that everyone on the tour will walk away with the Christmas spirit. Each home brings its own special features to the tour, like local artwork, sentimental family decorations, local antiques, sustainable construction or a beach-themed Christmas tree.
To find out more information about eligibility for Health Share benefits, call 240-895-7169 or visit www.healthshareofstmarys.com.
Home of Kirk and Terry Bonnevier
22565 Washington St., Leonardtown
Park at Leonardtown Wharf or behind Leonardtown Court house
Built in 2018, Wharf Breeze with its outside double porches brings a little feel of Charleston to Leonardtown. Kirk and Terry Bonnevier had a vision for the property when they purchased it in 2015. The original home on the property, built in 1910, was not able to be salvaged. Situated halfway down “Wharf Hill,” their transitional decorating style, taking more traditional antique pieces that have been in the family for decades and combining them with new more modern elements, gives it the feel of welcoming and warmth. Kirk, with his love of military history and aviation, has a room for his hobbies, model airplane building and military war games. The family has enjoyed turning their home into the “Christmas House” each year with villages, trains, multiple trees and greenery, with a mix of old and new.
Home of the St Mary’s County Historical Society
41680 Tudor Place, Leonardtown
Originally part of a 1,100 acre plantation settled in 1744, Tudor Hall has been host to major figures in American history, including George Washington and Francis Scott Key, the author of the national anthem and whose family owned Tudor Hall for over 150 years. In 1820, Tudor Hall underwent a major expansion turning it into the building seen today. Though the plantation has been subdivided and the house has had several renovations and uses, including a time as the county’s first library, it retains its grandeur. Now the home of the St. Mary’s County Historical Society, Tudor Hall’s rooms hold pieces dating from the 18th and 19th centuries, including the plantation’s original 1744 deed and the original flag of St. Mary’s County. Tudor Hall is decorated in traditional Christmas decor both inside and out.
Kevin’s Corner Kafé
24509 Point Lookout Road
The food site of the tour, Kevin’s Corner Kafé is located where a large willow tree once stood at the restaurant formerly called The Willows. Since opening his restaurant on this historic site, Kevin Thompson has carried on a tradition of providing a family friendly atmosphere and home-styled cooking. For over 10 years he has provided box lunches at the home tour sites. This year tour goers are invited to stop by the restaurant, admire holiday decor and purchase lunch. There is a gift shop in a cottage behind the restaurant with vintage merchandise for sale.
Home of William and Ellen Lewis
41850 Phoenix Way, Leonardtown
Designed by Rill Architects, the Lewis home, called Eagle Brae, overlooks Breton Bay and Abell Creek. This Georgian Colonial was completed in 2014 and features a striking 4-story oval spiral staircase, high ceilings, and deep moldings throughout. The slate veranda on the home’s water side is a perfect place to watch the sun set, while the second and third story decks give additional vistas across the Bay. The home lovingly blends traditional and modern elements and is furnished with a mix of family antiques collected over six generations. Art features prominently throughout.
For the holidays, the Lewis home is dressed with live greenery, poinsettia, and an array of vintage decorations. Antique German carousels and more than 40 nutcrackers collected by Ellen’s mother complement multiple Christmas trees. The 12-foot family room tree is decked with a collection of European glass ornaments and sentimental family pieces. In the sunroom, a beach-themed tree is full of sparkling starfish, mermaids, and other fanciful sea creatures. The more formal living room tree features every White House ornament ever issued.
Home of Jerry and Kerri Frank
21390 Little Saint Annes Lane, Leonardtown
With an eye for environmental and financial sustainability and the motivation to “never up-size so we’ll never have to downsize,” Kerri and Jerry Frank built their 1,900-square-foot home on Little St. Annes Lane in 2003 to be their forever home. The custom construction is situated on the three-acre lot to take advantage of winter passive solar heating, and features geothermal heating, cooling and hot water. A central staircase rises through the two-story living room, creating a sense of space and a natural chimney for warm air flow from the south facing windows to the second floor. The Franks enjoy the holidays at home every year, hosting multiple parties throughout the season. They deeply value cooking and eating with friends and family, and their kitchen is truly the heart of their home.
The Frank’s herb garden, beside the kitchen entry door, features perennial rosemary, sage, thyme, oregano and annual seasonings throughout the year. Celebrating their 25th anniversary in 2019, the Franks undertook planning for installation of a commemorative fruit and nut tree orchard, expanded vegetable and cutting garden and beehives in the spring of 2020. These plantings will reduce open lawn space to the northeast of the home and provide fresh, home-grown culinary delights over the coming years.
Home of Keith and Valerie Miller
41640 Foxes Point Lane, Leonardtown
In the summer of 2016, winding down from 40-plus-year dual-military careers in federal and private sectors, Keith and Valerie Miller sought a forever home. They wanted a waterfront haven with an open floor plan, great kitchen, and outdoor pool. From the first moment crossing the threshold, they realized every other dwelling was a house, and this place was home.
The Millers added entertaining spaces – a full basement build-out featuring a bar and wine room – and a pool, patio and outdoor kitchen. The Millers are happy to share their space where friends and family can relax and unwind. While transitioning to full retirement, their minimalist holiday decorating reflects a feeling of warm, welcoming calm.
Home of Paul and Kathy O’Brien
21600 Swan Creek, Leonardtown
O’Bay House is the manifestation of a 30-year dream of living on the water. Having raised six kids in the Breton Bay community, Paul and Kathy O’Brien returned to Medley’s Neck where Paul grew up on a tobacco farm just down the road on White Point. Their 15-acre farmstead is nestled under a knoll behind the expansive fields of Foxes Point. This home offers a cozy respite for the couple as well as plenty of entertaining spaces for their ever expanding family. Kathy personally designed the home, with the help of local architect Dave Decker, to capture the amazing vistas.
The decor is a soothing palette of blues which allows the natural surroundings to sing. Holiday decorations are an eclectic blend of old and new, collected over the last 40 years. For added fun, local artist Anna Austin will be displaying her unique textile art, including those incorporated into the O’Brien’s home.