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Sugarloaf Country Club opens houses for the public

Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan The Spiller home located at 2552 Thurleston Lane was among the four homes on display during the fourth annual Sugarloaf Leisure Living Tour and Boat Show at the Sugarloaf Country Club in Duluth on Friday.  All the proceeds will be distributed between the four Women's Charity of Sugarloaf Country Club Charities (WCSCC) sponsored charities. The charities included Foster Children's Foundation, Mothers and Daughters Against Cancer, Rainbow Village, Inc. and Spectrum Autism Support Group.

Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan The Spiller home located at 2552 Thurleston Lane was among the four homes on display during the fourth annual Sugarloaf Leisure Living Tour and Boat Show at the Sugarloaf Country Club in Duluth on Friday. All the proceeds will be distributed between the four Women's Charity of Sugarloaf Country Club Charities (WCSCC) sponsored charities. The charities included Foster Children's Foundation, Mothers and Daughters Against Cancer, Rainbow Village, Inc. and Spectrum Autism Support Group.

DULUTH -- Lawns were cut, hedges were trimmed and pools were cleaned for the Sugarloaf Country Club's Women's Club Charity Board's fourth annual Leisure Living Tour, which concludes today.

The tour began on Friday, giving visitors a chance to see some beautiful homes while helping several good causes at the same time.

Four houses in the neighborhood opened their doors to the public all in the name of charity. The money raised from the event is split evenly between the Foster Children's Foundation, Mothers and Daughters Against Cancer, Rainbow Village Inc. and Spectrum Autism Support Group Inc.

"It is, honestly, a pleasure to open my house to the public," said Jill Kersh, charity nominator and supporter of MADAC who has her house open on this year's tour. "I open this home and what we're able to do with the money we raise, we change people's lives. Opening my home is small compared to the things that we're about to accomplish."

Kersh's house features an outdoor wedding with appetizers, champagne and wedding cakes from Whole Foods and place settings around the pool provided by Bloomingdale's. Today, cheerleaders from Peachtree Ridge High School will model bridesmaids dresses from Formerly Yours bridal salon of Lilburn, plus bride and groom attire displayed on mannequins.

To add to the experience, award-winning landscape designer, author and speaker Tara Dillard is speaking at noon and 3 p.m. at Kersh's house.

Across the neighborhood, Richard and Melanie Spiller created a tropical spa oasis on their patio and inside their basement. Attendees can talk with employees of Lifetime Fitness while sipping on complimentary smoothies and munching on fresh fruit. If you want a moment of relaxation, Mary Kay is treating people to hand massages.

Down the street, Dwight and Kiko Harvey brought the bayou to Duluth. The entire property is decorated with New Orleans themes, like purple, green and yellow feather masks, beaded necklaces and fleurs-de-lis. The food is from Boudreaux's, offering jambalaya, sweet tea and chicory coffee in the outdoor kitchen and Cajun popcorn from Popcorn Palladium is located in the basement kitchen.

At the next house, John and Terri Schraudenbach bring a Mexican fiesta to the tour because Pure Taqueria is supplying nachos and tacos along with "mini" margaritas. Guests can have their pictures taken by professional photographer Camille Deann for a donation.

But the new attraction this year is the boat show that features 15 water vehicles on the lawn at the Sugarloaf Clubhouse.

"We hope it brings more people because we've added something different," Kathie Davis said, who nominate Rainbow Village for this year's tour. "You get all of the women who come all the time because they love the houses and are dragging their husbands behind them. Now, we have something a little more enticing for the husbands. The wives can just drop them off there and play."

Park Marine, Marine Max and Gainesville Marina & Boat Sales brought out boats for people to look at and if you're lucky, someone may let you onboard for a tour.

During the day, there are raffles available for a chance to win a Big Green Egg, an emerald ring from the Gem Shopping Network valued at $5,900 and other goodies. All winners will be announced today.

The last ticket sales are at 3 p.m. today at the country club's front gate.