SML Charity Home Tour kicks off Friday with big crowds

Fundraiser supports eight local charities

SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE, Va. – If you have ever wanted to go inside one of the gorgeous waterfront properties at Smith Mountain Lake, the Charity Home Tour is your chance. Each year, people line up by the hundreds to get a peek inside over the three-day weekend.

Traveling by boat, shuttle or car, the Smith Mountain Lake Charity Home Tour attracts neighbors and visitors alike.

PHOTOS: Smith Mountain Lake Charity Home Tour

“It is a major event at the lake. It is the event at the lake,” said Sue Libscomb, executive director of the Agape Center, a charity that benefits from the tour.

The first of the three-day event was packed full of ticket holders, waiting to go inside. Many of them have dreamed of walking through for years. Sandra Morse, executive director of the Smith Mountain Lake Charity Home Tour, said the 28th annual event has shown promising numbers. As of Friday, the organization sold 1,080 tickets. She said they expect at least 300 more tickets to be sold over the weekend.

In nearly 30 years, close to $5 million has been raised. This year there are eight homes to tour and eight charities that will benefit.

“Charities who utilize it to buy more backpacks for kids, more swim lessons, more clothes, food-just all kinds of things for people in our community that need it," Morse said.

In previous years, Morse said, each charity has received between $14,000 and $28,000 each.

The Agape Center, which provides groceries and more to roughly 3,000 local people a month, is one of the beneficiaries of 2018.

"It's more than just the money. It's brought this whole community together," Lipscomb said.

The tours happen all weekend. Tickets are available for $35 at the event.

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