Milford resident Bonnie McCann and her husband Hank have always decorated for Christmas, inviting friends and family to see their fully decorated, 10-room house, the McCann Manor, which sits on 20 acres along Canterbury Road, and the last few years have allowed them to also use it as a fundraising event for local organizations.
It’s not every day you get to see a house filled with more than 150 Christmas trees and thousands of ornaments and decorations including a Dr. Seuss-themed tree and Santa sipping a martini.
It’s also not every day that a person’s love for holiday decorations is converted into a series of local fundraisers.
Milford resident Bonnie McCann and her husband Hank have always decorated for Christmas, inviting friends and family to see their fully decorated, 10-room house, the McCann Manor, which sits on 20 acres along Canterbury Road.
It wasn’t until the Rose Colored Lasses, a local social and charitable group, approached the McCanns about five years ago that they realized their decorations could spread holiday cheer to the entire community.
“She has opened her house before for us and she is just an angel,” said Rosie Babel of the Rose Colored Lasses.
The Rose Colored Lasses started a holiday home tour, which includes three other homes in addition to the McCann Manor, to raise funds for the American Cancer Society. This year the organization plans to use the house tour to raise funds for the Delaware Hospice Center in Milford.
“This year we decided that we would like to focus on local community organizations rather than a broad national organization, so we decided this year that we wanted to raise money for our local hospice here in Milford,” Babel said.
After the tour became a success with the Rose Colored Lasses, Bonnie McCann decided to branch out to other local organizations to use the extravagantly decorated home as a fundraising event. This year, tours of the local home will benefit the Kent County Republican Women’s Club from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday night, Kent-Sussex Industries from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday night and the Hub Club Rotary’s community service projects from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday night. Tickets for each of these tours are priced at $10 and available by calling Bonnie McCann at (302) 335-4772.
“You are literally bombarded with Christmas from top to bottom, head to toe. It is a marvel to see,” said Alicia Hollis, director of community relations for KSI. While ticket sales are very slow for KSI’s first year of participation, Hollis hopes that many tickets will be sold at the door to benefit KSI’s programs and participants. “If five people come and we raise $50, that’s more money than we had. It’s great exposure and a great partnership. It’s a warm, welcoming environment and KSI is just going to be as gracious as we can.”
McCann also prides herself in putting up different decorations, including themed rooms like a nutcracker pirate and a princess wonderland, so she can continue the event with a fresh twist every year.
“It’s not like anything you’ve ever seen,” McCann said. “If you’ve been on the tour once, you’ll see something different the next year. It’s beyond what you’d see in any Christmas shop.”