Mary Burg puts at least 500 ornaments on a 10-foot Christmas tree each year for the holidays. And there’s a story behind each one of them.
There are three ornaments more than 100 years old from her great-grandmother, from the Alsace-Lorraine region between France and Germany. One is a small Santa on a bone swing.
“The swing is literally made out of bone — whose bone, I don’t know,” Burg says.
Burg’s mother, an artist from North Carolina, also made a small mouse dressed up like her own mother — wearing a Jackie Kennedy pillbox hat and matching pink coat, and carrying ice skates.
Those family memories and traditions will be on display for the public this year as Greg and Mary Burg join other host families for the fourth-annual Holiday Homes Tour.
The tour, a benefit for Health Care Access, will be from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 7. It will feature nine locations in Lawrence. Some of the highlights:
• Ken and Annette Wertzberger’s home at 907 Ark. was built in 1873 and remodeled in 1904. Visitors can view old-world Victorian decorations.
• Former Mayor Sue Hack will display a collection of more than 100 Santa Claus figurines.
• “Flower” artist and Georgia native Anna Carol Wright’s residence in the Hobbs-Taylor Lofts, Seventh and New Hampshire streets, has paintings from floor to ceiling.
Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 the day of the event, and Health Care Access development assistant Sally Zogry says every effort is made to keep overhead costs low so that proceeds directly benefit the clinic.
“Fundraisers are very important to keep us going,” she says. “This will be a lot of fun, and it comes at a time when more people need the clinic more than ever.”
Health Care Access, a Lawrence agency that provides health care for low-income Douglas County residents who have no insurance, is on track for a 30 percent increase in the number of appointments this year.
“We are hearing stories of people losing their coverage or they can’t afford their coverage or they are losing their jobs,” Zogry says.
Trinity Lutheran Church, 1245 N.H., will team up with the Holiday Homes Tour, offering a bake and crafts sale as a stop along the tour. Proceeds will benefit the clinic.
Another partner is Centenary United Methodist Church, 245 N. Fourth St., which is host to the Festival of the Nativities the first three weekends of December.