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Extravagant, elegant homes

No need to browse the Home and Garden channel for elaborate ideas, the Damien Home Tour offers an opportunity to view unique homes in Detroit Lakes, and it's all for charity.

The 31st annual Damien Fall Home Tour will be held from 12:30 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 2.

Damien Society members have picked six different homes with distinctive décor, architecture, space and locations for this year's tour -- from condo living to traditional and modern homes on the lake.

"We try to have a unique variety," said Mary Brenk, a member of the Damien Society.

Every year, the organization invites members of the community to participate in the tour as a fundraising opportunity. All proceeds will be donated to a total of 18 local charities.

A big chunk of the funds raised is used around Christmastime, when the Damien Society helps purchase groceries for families in need and organizes the annual "mitten tree" for mitten donations in the winter.

"It's a wonderful project," said member Gail Grabow. "The Damiens are very proud of their work, so we continue to do this project."

Of course there are the familiar faces who mark their calendars every year to make the tour, but typically the Damien Society sells around 375 tickets.

"We do see a lot of the same faces; frankly women have made it a women's fun weekend activity," said member DelRae Chivers. "Everyone knows it's the first Saturday of October."

After many years, the event has become a successful and fun outing -- a tradition, Chivers noted.

"There is always an awesome response," Brenk added. "People love to look at other people's homes."

To take a closer look at the homes featured in this year's tour, pick up a copy of this Sunday's Becker County Record, where the annual Fall Home magazine will be inserted.

Tickets for the tour are $15 each and can be purchased at Detroit Paint and Glass, La De Da Décor and Design, the Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce or from any Damien Society member.