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Zonta Christmas House Opens

Zonta Christmas House Opens Click to Enlarge Photo: Jake Judd (KNSI)

(KNSI) - The 30th annual Zonta Christmas House is being held at the home of First Fuel Bank in St. Cloud owners Jim and Brenda Feneis.

Every year the Zonta Club decorates virtually every square inch of a home with Christmas decorations as a fundraiser to support programs that help women in Central Minnesota.

Jim was a guest on KNSI's Ox in the Afternoon with Dan "The Ox" Ochsner and talked about his home, which he calls Idel Ridge.

"First of all, I'd like to explain that it's a very large garage attached to a house. The facility is 22,000 square feet, and the living quarters is 2,400 square feet."

The garage is more like a museum with things from St. Cloud throughout its history a 1950's dinner, a car museum, a bike museum, classic cars and motorcycles, an underground parking garage, an inside carwash, shop with a bridge crane, and warehouse.

Jim says he was told that the Christmas House is usually an event for women.

"Now the guys are interested. And I've had women tell me they've been going to the Zonta House for 20 years and all of a sudden their husbands are saying, get me a ticket."

He says everyone is invited.

"We're so proud to open up our home. It's been a ton of work for us and were opening our home to the public, and folks, please come and see Idle Ridge."

Jim says he bought the land 40-years ago in the hopes of one day building a home there. After years of hard work, and more than 500,000 cubic yards of fill, he was able to create a place that all of his toys could stay and sit idle. Thus the name, Idel Ridge.

The Zonta Club's Debra Kellerman was a guest of KNSI's Bob Hughes and said she can't thank Jim and Brenda enough for letting the club decorate the home this year.

"They have graciously opened their home, and this is the first time that they're opening the museum on this large of a scale. They've certainly let people tour, but they are now opening it and embraced our passion for helping us raise money."

The Zonta Christmas House is at 920-10th Street Northeast, Sauk Rapids, and will be open from 3 to 9 p.m. on Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.

Tickets are $20 at the door and $15 in advance. They can be bought at Coborn's, Cashwise, Westside Liquors, Crafts Direct, or from any Zonta member.