Orange Finalist Hopes Family Tradition Wins $100,000 for Schools

Your votes are still needed to help Orange Public Schools win the grand prize.

As you may have noticed some folks around town are getting in the holiday mood all over again with the announcement that a judge somewhere in the country chose one of our to stand among the top 24 best decorated homes in the country.

Peggy Koether and her husband have been decorating their home for more than 20 years, since their children were little.

Their three daughters are now out of college and have moved on to careers or advanced schooling, but mom and dad still keep the lights burning bright when the girls come home for the holidays.

The family likes the more traditional look with balance and not much flash. Each year they adjust the placement of items or add something new.

They enjoy going to the town Christmas Tree lighting and then driving around the neighborhood to see how others have decorated their homes.

"This year there were more houses in the area decorated from simply stated to musical synchronization and flashing lights," she said. "It's a good feeling to know that so many people are in the holiday spirit."

The empty nesters begin decorating both inside and out right after Halloween and continue until they are happy with their creation, so it looks nice in both the daytime and at night.

Traditionally the lights are lit on Thanksgiving Day and stay on until Jan. 1. This year, with a $100,000 donation to Orange Public Schools on the line, they will keep the lights up until at least Jan. 3.

Peggy said she enjoys watching people drive by and stop and take photos year after year. "That's cool that they enjoy what we do," she said.

"We do it for our family, the kids, and people who come by the house after midnight mass," she said. "I've had people waiting outside in the street some nights because I forgot to turn the lights on at the normal time."

Peggy is a lifelong resident who went through the Orange school system starting at (school) and then at . Her daughters also went through the Orange Public School sytem. As such, Peggy said winning Patch's Deck the House contest would be a nice way to give back to the community that has given so much to her family (educationally).

To make that happen, you can vote once a day now through Jan. 8 at this link by selecting the Orange CT house among the 24 finalists: http://deckthehouse.patch.com/

john January 01, 2012 at 04:31 PM
It's a video, not a picture. Like the other videos on the final 24, the freeze frame for some reason is blurry.
Terri Miles January 01, 2012 at 04:36 PM
It's not too late! the judges saw the beauty even through the shaky video and screen capture. They are in the TOP 24 and Orange has a chance to win $100,000 for its schools. I will NEVER throw in the towel. This is VERY Winnable!
Terri Miles January 01, 2012 at 08:47 PM
If Patch has the contest again next year, everyone would have to start fresh and enter THAT year's design. But Yes, I'm sure everyone who enters next year will be more aware.
Kathleen Schurman January 01, 2012 at 10:11 PM
Yes, the house is lovely, but I don't think people are voting on the photo - they are voting for their community. In the end, the community that is most motivated to bring $100,000 to their schools will win, no matter how shaky the video or blurred the freeze frame. If Orange rallies, Orange will win. I'm voting every single day, and am urging everyone I know to do the same. I may be a Bethany resident, but we are all part of Amity!
Terri Miles January 02, 2012 at 02:40 AM
Thank You Kathleen and all the people in Woodbridge and Bethany who are voting for Orange. I don't know what else I can do to get through to everyone. I haven't slept in days, I'm sick and really, really tired. But, Tomorrow is another day. I won't give up, but tonight, I just can't keep going.


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