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WATERLOO — It wasn’t hard convincing Ashley Monroe to open her home on the Holiday Homes of Hope tour.

Saturday’s event is sponsored by Re/Max Home Group to benefit the American Cancer Society. Monroe’s mom, Kathy Kroblin, works for the real estate firm, and Monroe and her husband, Michael, are spending their first Christmas together in a new Cedar Falls home.

But Monroe also has a soft place in her heart for ACS. She is a cancer survivor.

The tour takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Five homes will be decked out for the holidays: 2335 Blythe Blvd., 2010 Donald Drive, 1441 Laurel Circle and 3910 Legacy Lane No. 3, all in Cedar Falls; and 1005 Fran St., Evansdale.

“This is a way for us to reach out to the community and to let our clients know we care, that we’re here and that we all go through the same struggles. We do have agents who have lost loved ones to cancer,” says Kristina Smith, a realtor with Re/Max Home Group.

Through her involvement with Black Hawk County Relay for Life, Smith was contacted about sponsoring the home tour by Tammy Schoonover, ACS senior community development manager. “It seemed like a great idea, and the agents were able to get five homes right away,” Smith says.

Monroe was diagnosed and underwent chemotherapy for Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2017. She was 27 and had been married for less than a year.

“The American Cancer Society was one of the first calls I got. They offered to help with transportation, someone to talk to and connected me with other resources,” Monroe says. Participating in the tour is her way of saying, “thank you.”

Her holiday décor has a naturalistic vibe, particularly in the open concept living room with a Christmas tree that tops out at 9 feet. It is decorated with rustic and winter-themed ornaments, including white poinsettias.

The decorations are in keeping with her decorating style, which she describes as “modern farmhouse. I don’t like to be too trendy, though, so I stay a little more classic.” Several wall hangings, including a scroll proclaiming “baby, it’s cold outside” and a sign that says, “& to all a good night,” were made by Monroe and her mom.

The lower-level family room is decked out for the holidays, and a small tree in the master bedroom is adorned with favorite childhood ornaments, including Michael’s prized Ninja turtle figure.

Tickets are $10 each and available at both Re/Max Home Group offices at 3731 Pheasant Lane, Waterloo, or 4800 University Ave., Cedar Falls, or from any Re/Max Home Group real estate agent. Tickets also will be sold at the homes on tour day. Proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society.

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Arts/Special Sections Editor

Special Sections Editor for the Courier

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