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More than a dozen groups, programs will benefit from event

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FARMINGTON — The homes that are chosen each year for the Woman's Club of Farmington's annual Parade of Homes tour are selected mostly for their overall appearance and appeal.

But many of them have unique features that allow them to stand apart even from each other.

Such is the case again this year, as four local homes with distinctive characteristics have been chosen from the tour, which takes place from noon to 4 p.m. Sept. 14. The homes owned by Steve Gabaldon, Summer Rene Jakino, Dale and Charlene Crawford, and Valerie Lyon are scattered around the county, so those taking the tour are advised to set aside the entire afternoon for the event.

Kathy Hooper, one of the tour organizers, said finding local residents who are willing to open their homes to the tour can be challenging, but the event's status as a fundraiser for a wide variety of local nonprofit organizations and community programs makes it an easier sell. That list includes Daily Bread, Grace Place, Shop with a Cop, Navajo Ministries, Blue Star Mothers, the Farmington Public Library, Canine Companions, the Family Crisis Center, the Connelly Hospitality House, Four Corners Equine Rescue, the IGW Children's Hope Foundation, fire dog stuffies for the San Juan County Fire Department, People Assisting the Homeless, and the Harriet Donohoo and Dorothy Pentelton scholarships.

"I went knocking on a lot of doors," Hooper said. "I explain who I am and what we do. Some (homeowners) are private, so you do get a lot of people who decline. But usually, they're flattered we approached them because their houses are so beautiful."

Approximately 250 people took the tour last year, raising $2,500 for the aforementioned organizations. Hooper said curiosity is the main selling point for the tour, which will be celebrating its 58th edition this year.

"It's just a way for people to see how other people decorate," she said. "We usually start getting calls (about the event) even before we start advertising. And we've had several more men come through (the houses) in recent years."

The houses are chosen for their entire package, not just their design. Hooper said color schemes, wall textures, furnishings and picture groupings are some of things she likes to note in each house she visits, especially if a homeowner has taken an innovative approach to one of those areas.

The exteriors of the homes and the landscaping surrounding them are another point of interest, she noted, and a chance for homeowners to express their individuality.

The Gabaldon home at 5921 Del Rio Court is a good example of a property that avoids the cookie cutter approach. Designed and built by its owner in 2003, the 7,000-square-foot home sits on more than 10 acres and features river frontage, two ponds, a rock bridge and a two fountains. It was designed to look like a 100-year-old structure when it was built, so Gabaldon built it with 12-inch concrete exterior walls modeled to look like adobe and a steel corrugated rusty roof. It features ceilings of at least 10 feet, as well as five bedrooms, each of which has its own bathroom and large closet.

The Crawford home at 4704 Hilltop Court emphasizes airiness with its open floor plan, 14-foot ceilings in the main living areas, and multiple windows to provide panoramic bluff and river views. The house features three bedrooms, each of which features an ensuite with a snail shower, and a chef's kitchen. It also includes in-floor heating and built-in surround sound.

The Jakino home at 5511 Country Club Drive has been remodeled and had several new features added to it. Its 4,000 square feet include a detached studio apartment. When she moved in, Jakino had the pantry replaced with a bar seating area, providing open space between the kitchen and the living and dining areas. The home is characterized by its wood and granite features, as well as its Italian travertine flooring. A front yard waterfall recently was added, and the backyard is designed for leisure with a custom children's playhouse, a water feature, fire pits, a Jacuzzi, two pergolas and trampolines.

The Lyon home at 46 County Road 5151 in Bloomfield typifies casual Southwestern living for its owner. The 2,700-square-foot adobe brick structure is notable for its custom brick floors, small prayer room and custom-built walk-in closet. The half-acre yard is home to a koi pond and waterfall, with views of horses grazing in the distance.

Parade of Home tickets are $10. They can be purchased at all Four Corners Community Bank locations, all Citizens Bank locations, ImageNet Consulting, A Beautiful Mess and the Dusty Attic, as well as from any Woman's Club of Farmington member.

Call Hooper at 505-860-0511 for more information.

Mike Easterling can be reached at 505-564-4610.

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