hen raising money for neighborhood schools, the Lakewood Early Childhood PTA has turned for the past 30 years to its own surroundings for inspiration.

“The Lakewood Home Festival has been a neighborhood tradition,” says LECPTA board president Barbara Steslow. “The folks who’ve grown up here have grown up with it.”

The annual home tour — accompanied by a party, auction, cafe and market — is the group’s only annual fund-raising event. The money benefits Lakewood Elementary School, and for the first time this year, J.L. Long Middle School.

The event brought in $86,900 last year, Steslow says. The LECPTA retains 7 percent for its operating budget. The rest pays for playground equipment, a phonics curriculum, classroom renovations and support for extracurricular programs such as Destination Imagination, the Chess Club and the Expressions writing program.

“The donation that Lakewood Elementary receives from the Lakewood Home Festival represents more than a financial contribution,” says Lakewood Elementary principal Michelle Thompson. “The donation helps us achieve our mission of academic excellence, mutual respect and the goal of lifelong learning for every student.”

The festival begins Friday, Nov. 4, with a candlelight preview tour of the six featured homes, followed by a James Bond-themed “Casino Royal” party at Lakewood Country Club.

The party features live and silent auctions, casino games, a poker tournament, food and, of course, martinis: shaken, not stirred.

The home tour continues from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, and noon-5 p.m. Sunday, Nov 6. During the same hours, restaurants will serve food in the Lakewood Local Cafe and more than 70 vendors will sell goods in the Market, both located at Lakewood Elementary, 3000 Hillbrook St.

Despite all of the other activity, the six architecturally distinctive homes on tour are the stars of the event, Steslow says.

“I think Lakewood has such unique architecture that doesn’t really exist in another part of the city,” Steslow says. “We truly are a unique neighborhood for that reason.”

LAKEWOOD HOME FESTIVAL

Casino party tickets are $50 and include admission to all weekend events. General admission tickets are $10 for the tour, café and market Saturday and Sunday. Candlelight tour tickets are $15 and include admission to all weekend events, excluding the casino party. Market admission only is $3. Cafe admission is free.

Tickets will be available at Central Market, 5750 E. Lovers, and Professional Bank of Lakewood, 2101 Abrams, beginning Oct. 1, or call the ticket hotline at 214-826-5962 for reservations. Tickets also can be purchased at the tour homes and the school on festival days.

Visit lakewoodhomefestival.com or call the hotline for information.

The tour homes are:

  • 7417 Axminster Court
  • 618 Brookside Drive
  • 6921 Delrose Drive
  • 6535 Gaston Avenue
  • 6607 Vanderbilt Avenue
  • 3201 Wendover Road


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