History of the Christmas Fantasy House

Although the picturesque decor of the 24th Annual Christmas Fantasy House lends a hand to the spirit of the season, the real charm of this event isn’t just ornamentation. The generosity and kindness of Loretta Thomson, a dedicated volunteer and longtime supporter of the American Cancer Society, can attribute to the winter wonderland effect. It was her goal to have a yuletide event committed to benefiting the American Cancer Society. And, for 21 years, the Christmas Fantasy House raised over $2 million for cancer research and programs through the joy the house brought to all who toured it.

As a result in a national shift aligning all American Cancer Society events, the Christmas Fantasy House found a new partner in Ronald McDonald House Charities Eastern Wisconsin. The committee is thrilled to partner with the Ronald McDonald House and believes strongly in its dedication to easing the burden of families whose lives have been disrupted as a result of their child’s illness or injury, by providing a “home away from home” and caring outreach initiatives.

A large part of Thomson’s vision was to have the Christmas Fantasy House bring joy to children. The committee feels that our new partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities Eastern Wisconsin is one that Loretta would take great pride in.

Thomson’s festive and unique collection of holiday decorations paired with her charitable character, created this Christmas staple in the greater Milwaukee area. Without Thomson’s drive and dream, this event may never have occurred. Her loving disposition for the happiness of others, especially children, during the Christmas season developed into a treasured occasion. Unfortunately, her untimely passing did not allow her to see her goal become a Christmas tradition. It is due to Loretta Thomson’s jubilant spirit and the devotion of those who share her dream, that each visitor to the House can become carried away with the wide-eyed wonderment of a child.

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