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Handcrafted dollhouse to be auctioned at Meet Me at the Fair

Published: Saturday, July 13, 2013 5:30 a.m. CST

Pay-It-Forward House will host its eighth annual Meet Me at the Fair fundraiser on July 20 on the grounds of the house, at 719 Somonauk St. in Sycamore.

The old-fashioned, family-oriented fun fair includes kids’ games, bounce houses, food, storytelling and musical entertainment by the Black Tie Jazz Trio. Food and entertainment are free. There are raffles for children and adults and a silent auction.

Tours of the house and grounds and information about volunteer opportunities also will be available.

Each year since Meet Me at the Fair began, Lane McMillion has donated a handmade dollhouse for the silent auction. This year’s creation is built in the Queen Anne style that was popular at the turn of the last century, when the home that houses Pay-It-Forward House was built.

“Lane does such beautiful work. There are some very lucky little girls in northern Illinois who have such unique dollhouses to play with now and to pass along to their own children one day,” Jea Nae Remala, executive director of Pay-It-Forward House, said in a news release. “From the detailed gingerbread trim to the wallpaper in the bedrooms, Lane pays special attention to make sure it is just right.”

McMillion and his family also volunteer at the house, Remala said.

Pay-It-Forward House NFP is a health care hospitality house that offers a caring and supportive home away from home for family and friends of patients receiving medical treatment in DeKalb County. The house is located next door to Kindred Hospital, an acute care hospital whose specialty services attract patients from all over Illinois and surrounding states.

“We also serve families from outside the area who need a place to rest while visiting a patient at Kishwaukee Hospital, as well as families who are visiting a local hospice patient and need a place to stay,” Meet Me at the Fair chairman Bart Desch said in the release. “Being able to stay in affordable accommodations is often what makes it possible for family and friends from afar to come say goodbye to a loved one receiving hospice care.”

Meet Me at the Fair is a way for Pay-It-Forward House to thank its supporters each year, Desch said. Corporate sponsorships and the proceeds from the raffles and silent auction help to cover about 10 percent of the house’s annual operating costs, so it also is an important fundraiser.

Other items in the silent auction include VIP seats to watch the 2013 Pumpkin Festival parade and local gift certificates. Bidding will run from 3 to 5:30 p.m. the day of the fair.

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