“Shocked” was how Terry defined it. For the last few years, the Lively couple have been decorating their Cranberry Court home with a growing number of Christmas trees. This year, they opened their doors to the community, inviting people to tour the 35 trees they had set up in their home.
“We met some very nice people we would have never met if we hadn't done this,” Terry said.
While they didn't keep track of the exact number of people who came through, Terry said opening their home was “definitely a success.”
A number of families, individuals and even two bus loads came to admire the elaborate holiday setup. Even out-of-towners made the holiday home part of their visit to Sudbury, helping them get into the spirit of the season.
“A lot of people commented that they didn't feel Christmas until they came through,” Terry said.
In keeping with the giving spirit of the holidays, Terry and Sandy asked guests for donations to a cause close to their hearts. Once all the donations were counted, the couple presented $1,640 to Magical Paws Pet Therapy.
The couple, who are the loving owners of three Pomeranian dogs, said the non-profit organization was a good fit.
“We wanted to do a fundraiser for something that dealt with animals in memory of our Ceiligh, who we lost a few years ago,” Terry said.
Annette Lumbis, co-ordinator of Magical Paws Pet Therapy, said the donation is much appreciated.
“It's such a big stress reliever to know (we) start the year with an incredible amount of money,” she said.
The organization already visits 20 facilities in the city on a monthly basis, with some casual stops and many more places asking for the company of the dogs and their handlers.
“A lot of them are asking what it will take to get in more than once a month,” Lumbis said.
The answer? More volunteers.
Lumbis said the donation from Terry and Sandy means volunteers can spend more time now in facilities, and less fundraising. The results are more happy people in the facilities.
Terry and Sandy said they were happy to help Magical Paws this year, but look forward to spreading the good fortune in years to come.
They are already looking forward to selecting the recipients of next year's Christmas house. Anyone with a not-for-profit interested in being considered is asked to email email@example.com.