By: Rebekah Crozier
Every year, the Samford Legacy League hosts a Christmas Home Tour to raise scholarship money for Samford students with financial need. On Dec. 10 of this year, six homeowners in the Birmingham area will open their doors to the community, and participants will be able to view these beautiful homes decorated for the holiday season. This will be the10th annual home tour, and it will be a tour unlike any other.
Samford’s President Andrew Westmoreland and his wife, Jeanna Westmoreland, open their home for the Christmas Home Tour each year. Samford First Lady Jeanna Westmoreland stated that, although it takes a lot of work and planning, she enjoys coming together with the community to bring about this important Samford Christmas tradition.
“It started as an idea in a brainstorming session around my kitchen table. Now, it requires planning of more than 12 months, soliciting sponsors, securing homes and volunteers and planning logistics and food,” Westmoreland said. “In a typical year, more than 300 volunteers are involved and I think that the level of volunteer engagement is one of the things that makes it such a great tradition.”
Because of COVID-19, certain restrictions have been put in place to ensure the safety of this year’s participants. Westmoreland explained that participants will buy tickets in advance to reserve their spots beginning at a specific home, and the number of participants in one home at one time will be limited. Temperatures will be checked at each home, and masks are required.
“The health and safety of participants, volunteers and homeowners is of utmost importance,” Westmoreland said.
When asked whether these restrictions will affect participation and the amount of money raised this year, Westmoreland said that she thinks both will be impacted. Less tickets will most likely be sold, but the normal sponsors will still faithfully support the tour.
“We are grateful for our presenting sponsor ARC Realty and our premium sponsors AllSouth Appliance Group, TCC General Contractors, Community Bank and Southbend. Their generous support ensures that we will be able to add money to our scholarship fund,” Westmoreland said.
Because of President Westmoreland’s impending retirement, this will be the last year that the Westmorelands participate in the Christmas Home Tour.
“It has been so much fun to be a part of something that brings joy to so many,” Westmoreland said. “I love sharing our Christmas traditions through the decoration of our home. When guests enter our home, the first thing they see is the nativity on the entry table. I have always wanted people to see a symbol of our hope in Christ as soon as they enter our home at Christmas.”
The Christmas Home Tour is a tradition that the Birmingham community looks forward to each year and one that is beneficial in raising money for students in need. It is a great event to attend with your friends or family to get into the Christmas spirit. Ticket sales will open in mid-November, and the prices start at $30. Visit https://www.samford.edu/legacyleague/events/Christmas-Home-Tour for more info.