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Flossmoor Service League to hold house walk May 17

The Flossmoor Service League’s annual House Walk fundraiser will be back on May 17.

This year’s house walk will be the 65th in its history. The first walk, known as the FSL Suburban Stroll, was on June 5, 1957,  with over 1,000 people in attendance. It raised more than $2,000. There has been a stroll or a walk every year since, except for the pandemic years.

Jane Baffes, co-chair for the House Walk, said she is especially excited because all of the event’s activities are back this year. Co-chairing with her is Janine Mlynarcik.

“I am very excited, we are back in full force since the pandemic,” Baffes said.  “Last year we only had the tours of homes, but this year we will have the luncheon in addition to the tours of the homes.  All the proceeds go to south suburban charities.”

FSL is a volunteer organization whose mission is to assist others in need.  It helps provide basic human services by funding south suburban charities, donating $38,000 in 2022. The House Walk is one of FSL’s main fundraisers.

This year, the homes on the tour are all in the Old Flossmoor neighborhood. The three homes showcased are a Tudor home, a Mid-Century Modern ranch, and a Mid-Century Modern tri-level home. Additionally, for the first time the tour also will include an historic second floor apartment in a downtown Flossmoor building that was built in 1929.  

Baffes praised the annual event’s ability to not only promote the fundraiser, but also showcase the history and stories of the community.  “Each home has its own unique historical background and how each owner has added to that,” she said.

Kerry Adams, 53, and his partner Blaise Parker are the owners of the Mid-Century Modern ranch on the tour.

“We really believe in FSL’s  mission of assisting children and families in the South Suburbs,” he said. 

As for the House Walk itself, Adams feels this year’s tour is a great way to show the diversity of architecture in Flossmoor.  

“This year’s tour really highlights the two main periods of construction that happened in Flossmoor, that being the 1920s and the 1950s. It is also a great opportunity to highlight all the work we have put into our home the last five years,” Adams said.

The home was completed in June 1955, the same year the FSL was founded.  The architect behind the design was Howard Peck. 

The current owners purchased the home in 2017. Since then, renovations have been done to the home.  Besides landscaping and painting, the main renovations involve replacing the roof and renovating the kitchen.

“Our focus in terms of breathing new life into our old house was not necessarily renovating it, but rather restoring the original details of the home. We tried to bring in things that looked like they would have been selected back in the ’50s when it came to renovating,” Adams said.

 Baffes touched on what the FSL organization means to her.

“We are women that care and work hard for these events to get everyone in the community involved and supporting 14 to 18 local charities,” she said.  “It is not just about the fundraisers, we also focus on doing physical services such as helping children or giving out turkeys during holidays.”

Participants can make a $25 donation to receive a ticket. Tickets are available on the FSL website.  The house walk will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 17.  For an additional $25, participants can enjoy a luncheon at Flossmoor Station from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will also be five gift baskets given away in raffles. Each basket is worth up to $100. Ticket holders also will be entitled to a behind the scenes tour and tasting at the Flossmoor Station Brewery.

To get a more detailed look at all the different charities FSL supports, click here.

FSL is encouraging walking or biking. GoodSpeed Cycles in Homewood has mapped additional routes for bicyclists that take in other architecturally significant homes in between stops on the tour. All locations are centrally located around downtown Flossmoor.

“I am hoping the weather will cooperate with us on the day of the fundraiser. Although, last year it did rain and the turnout was still great,” Baffes said.

FSL is grateful to this year’s sponsors: Flossmoor Station Restaurant and Brewery, HF Homes/eXp Realty and Lain-Sullivan Funeral Directors.

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