SCARSDALE, N.Y. Christmas came early to Drake Avenue as the Scarsdale Woman's Club opened its mansion to the public for its traditional Holiday Through The House celebration.
The house was decked out for the season, including a tall Christmas tree. Displays included festive place settings, pottery and holiday decorations. Live music was offered and refreshments were served. The Thrift Boutique was open for business.
In keeping with what village businesses have seen early in the season, attendance was heavy by the mid-point of the event, with parking at a premium.
"It could be a record turnout," said club President Theresa Mae Tori. "It's fantastic. When you hear there are problems parking, that's a sign it's as good as it's going to get."
Tori said the event's reputation did the trick.
"The word is out that it's a fun afternoon."
Handmade gift baskets about 75, Tori said were displayed on a long table along one side of the main room as visitors entered the house. The baskets, Tori said, were made by club members and are destined for a nursing home in White Plains.
"We're not just a social group," she said. "We have a two-pronged program: educational and philanthropic."
Event Co-Chairs Paulette Talley, a member since 1975, and Susan Toscani echoed the club's philanthropic mission and said the thrift boutique raises money for charity.
The club began in 1915 and purchased the then-bankrupt Scarsdale Inquirer for $1, according to a history on the club's website. Decades later, as circulation grew from 400 to 5,000, the club sold the paper. The organization also launched the Scarsdale League of Women Voters, Scarsdale/Edgemont Family Counseling Service and the Scarsdale Auxiliary of White Plains Hospital as well as several other groups.
In addition to its philanthropic and educational endeavors, Toscani said members have plenty of fun.
"There's lectures, concerts and trips," she said. "We have a very engaged membership."
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