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Beautiful but not ostentatious, luxurious but livable.

This was the general feeling among about 200 members of the Marco Island Woman's Club and their guests about the annual tour of elegant homes .

Thrown open for the morning by the owners, the homes were all notable for their expansive outdoor living areas, not surprising for an island in the tropics. Two were in the southern part of the island near Winterberry Drive, and the others closer to the Tigertail Beach area.

"It was really spectacular," Nancy McClellan said of the tour. She and Patricia Minotti, both guests of members, both said they'd not been aware that the underlying reason for the tour is to raise money for charity, and specifically for student scholarships.

"That's wonderful," Minotti said. "Knowing that, I'll come again next year."

Co-organizers Penny Weidner and Judy Kenney beamed at the conclusion of a luncheon and fashion show by Kay's on the Beach after the tour.

One tweak that had worked well this time around, said Weidner, is staging a luncheon after the tour instead of a breakfast buffet beforehand, and also going with reserved seating for ticketholders.

"We have a lot of fun," Weidner said, "but we're still a working club."

The club was established in 1966 by a group of 16 friends. Today, its manifesto describes it as "an active social network for the women of Marco Island as well as a civic-minded organization with a long, proud history of serving the community." Besides the scholarships, the club also donates to many other non-profit and civic and health organizations.

"The club has been and continues to be an important source of community support," the manifesto continues. "It's members recognize and take pride in the club and its many accomplishments."

Women interested in joining should call Joyce Frame at 642-9079.

Pick up the Thursday, March 12, print edition of the Marco Island Sun Times for more photos.

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