Five area couples opened their homes to the community as part of the 19th annual Scholarship Parade of Homes on Sunday, Dec. 8. The event, sponsored by Concordia University, Nebraska and Jones National Bank, raised scholarship dollars for high school seniors in Seward County who will attend Concordia University in Seward or Southeast Community College in Milford.
Guests were invited to tour the homes of Tim and Lori Alvarez, Greg and Shelly Mueller, Elroy and Sue Reetz, Jim and Kathy Spahr, and John and Jill Wild.
Tim and Lori Alvarez built their home in 2008 in the Ridge Run area of Seward. The 1 1/2-story, five-bedroom home features a vaulted ceiling in the main floor master bedroom. The great room with a fireplace and large windows on three sides captures sunlight most of the day. An open oak staircase separates the great room from the formal dining room and the kitchen leads to an adjacent dining area that opens into the great room. The two upper level bedrooms look to the north and south, while a craft room finishes the second story. The Ridge Run pond provides a scenic view from the south and west windows. Each year, a natural Christmas tree lights the great room, decorated with Santa Claus figurines and ornaments created by the Alvarez children.
Greg and Michelle Mueller’s home is a 1940s-era building nestled on Seward Street that is shared with their business, Cornerstone Interiors. Nearly 2,200 square feet of converted warehouse space makes up the four-bedroom, two-bathroom home. Making their home in the Cornerstone building allowed the Muellers to eliminate their house payment and resourcefully put into practice remodeling options. The Muellers call the style of the home an “urban barn” and use the space to give their customers an idea of how products truly look on walls and floors. With a little creativity, the Muellers believe any structure can become a home.
Elroy and Sue Reetz moved into their home in July 2009. Moving from a farm near Staplehurst, the couple chose the Ridge Run area of Seward to build a more spacious in-town home. Entering the home, visitors are greeted with an open floor plan and large north-facing windows. Bookshelves on both sides of the gas fireplace provide ample space for books, art and family photos. The northern view varies from green fields in the summer to gold during harvest and snow in the winter. The home is decorated with an array of seasonal décor and collections.
Jim and Kathy Spahr’s home-building project began in earnest when Jim bought more than 40 windows on eBay in eBay in 2007. Built by a lake on the couples’ acreage, the house was designed around its windows and accommodates the Spahr’s large family. The lake, also built by Jim, is now stocked with fish and nearly 1,000 trees have been planted over the years to enhance the property. Jim relied on eBay once again for a 2011 purchase of granite which was put to use in the home’s kitchen. Jim, with help from Nate Comes and Chad Peery, completed the main kitchen in time for its first use on Christmas Day 2012. Joan Berglund helped Kathy through the design and building process, and she helps with holiday and Christmas tree decorations.
John and Jill Wild purchased their home, located on 17 acres, in 2005. The home was built in 1978 for David and Jeanie Jones. The sunrise and sunset, along with deer and wild turkey, provide spectacular views throughout the home. The Wilds updated the home to create a warm, modern, inviting feel while maintaining the character of the original space. An eclectic blend of modern and traditional styles complement the look of the home, designed for family living and friendly entertainment.