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Home Tour benefits Henry Mayo NICU

The annual Holiday Home Tour is a gala event held at the home of Dianne and Wayne Crawford

Posted: December 10, 2008 8:34 p.m.
Updated: December 11, 2008 4:30 a.m.

Dianne Crawford with Margo and Bob Hudson at the 28th annual Holiday Home Tour.

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The 10,000-square-foot, 24-room Sand Canyon estate home of Wayne and Dianne Crawford was transformed into a holiday wonderland during the 28th Annual Henry Mayo Holiday Home Tour Gala held Dec. 5. Daughter-in-law Jeanna Crawford decorated the home with vintage and handmade holiday decor that gave the impressive home a cozy, personal feel, which was enjoyed by the 120 guests who paid $150 per person to support the Home Tour League. Funds from the event benefit women's services at Henry Mayo, including a new neonatal intensive-care unit.

State Assemblyman Cameron Smyth, who attended with wife Lena, said the new unit at Henry Mayo "is very near and dear to our hearts."

"Our second son had to be transferred to the NICU at Valley Presbyterian Hospital, and so our son and Lena were separated for about four days," he said. "To have that facility here will make a huge difference to the families."

Smyth's mother Sue is this year's Home Tour chairwoman. She has been a member of the Home Tour League for more than 20 years.

"The Crawfords have a great Christmas tradition and we're just happy they wanted to share it with us," Sue Smyth said.

She said one of her favorite rooms in the beautifully decorated home is the family's great room that features an enormous tree decorated with larger-than-life ornaments, including giant acorns, sunflowers and glass jars filled with whole walnuts.

"This great room is fantastic. Jeanna Crawford has worked her magic again," Smyth said. "She is so creative."

Henry Mayo's annual Holiday Home Tour has traditionally been held on the first Saturday of December with a public tour and boutique.

However, this year, economic strain and uncertainty has caused the Home Tour to forgot the public home tour and concentrate only on the gala and boutique.

Roger Seaver, president and CEO of Henry Mayo, said despite the changes to the event it was still a success.

"It's nice to have the tour and dinner all in one evening; it really works well together," Seaver said. "The Crawfords are fantastic supporters of the hospital and we appreciate their hospitality."

Highlights of the tour included a dramatic rock formation spa and indoor pool festooned with festive wreaths, a roaring fireplace and elaborate bar in the backyard, gorgeous faux floral arrangements throughout the home, a Cinderella bedroom decorated for the holidays, a room dedicated to Dianne Crawford's extensive collection of Noah's Arks and a Raggedy Ann and Andy room, with dozens of the red-haired dolls.

In a downstairs bathroom, a giant nutcracker stood guard and in the master bath a giant ruby slipper sat on a countertop surrounded by gifts accompanied by a plaque that read, "one shoe can change your life."
The dining room was elaborately decorated with small white lights intertwined in fur boughs and a table-length floral centerpiece. Dianne Crawford's collection of faux desserts were placed enticingly on a nearby sideboard with amazingly life-like sugar cookies, cakes, pies and other goodies.

"When I heard there wasn't going to be a home tour, I decided to step forward and offer our home. I hated to see such a great tradition die, so I thought, why not combine the tour with the gala?" asked Dianne Crawford. "I was happy to do it and Jeanna was happy to help. It's important to support the hospital in any way we can."

Guests dined on an elaborate, small-plate buffet from Salt Creek Grille catering, with dining options that ran the gamut from scallop-topped risotto cakes to meatloaf and mashed potatoes to Cajun chicken and Andouille sausage served in miniature martini glasses.

Salt Creek Grille also donated a wine and martini bar, featuring Winter Wonderland martinis, Cosmopolitans and Holly Berry specialty cocktails.

Attending the event was Shelley Hann of Westridge and her identical twin sister, Noreen Coup, a former resident of Stevenson Ranch.

"I'm 17 minutes older and one inch taller," said Hann as she and her sister modeled identical and elegant "Barbie" handbags.

"Many guests commented that they like the gala and tour under one roof. We're just grateful people could come out and support the Home Tour this year, with times being so rough," said Julia Hicken, co-president of the Home Tour League. "We're also happy to continue to raise funds for the new NICU unit."

Cheri Fleming, a past chairwoman of the Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Health Foundation, said she was pleased the Home Tour was held at the Crawfords.

"I love our local hospital and I think it's so great we are supporting it tonight at such an amazing and magnificent estate," she said. "Looking at all the Christmas decorations, it is really the beginning of a special season."

As the evening wound down, guests purchased and carried out elegant holiday centerpieces donated by Valencia's Celebrate, while Greg Amsler, owner of Salt Creek Grille and past chairman of the Henry Mayo Health Foundation, toured the upstairs theme rooms with wife Chell.

"This is probably our favorite charity event of the year. To have it support the hospital makes it even better," Amsler said.

City Councilwoman Laurie Ender said she was impressed how the holiday decor also reflected the Crawford's personality.

"I always love this event, but the best thing tonight is seeing the Crawford's home. It'ss gorgeous but it perfectly reflects the two of them," she said.

Bob Hudson, Henry Mayo CFO, said he was pleased to be attending the event.

"I am so impressed with what Wayne and Dianne have done with their home and to have them open their home and share it with the community," he said. "The Home Tour is such a marvelous experience."

For more information on Henry Mayo's Holiday Home Tour League and annual events, visit www.henrymayo.com or call (661) 253-8051. Volunteers are sought throughout the year to help with event planning.

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