Mason County News
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Eighth Annual Habitat Spring Benefit Scheduled for May 22nd
Wednesday, February 24, 2010 • Posted February 24, 2010

A full evening of fun, food and music is being planned for the Mason County Habitat for Humanity's 2010 Spring Benefit. This year's event has been scheduled for Saturday, May 22nd, 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.

This year's event will be hosted by Craig and Carol Conlee at their beautiful Loyal Valley home, Tres Lunes Ranch. The gorgeous Spanish style home has spectacular hill country views, and their personal art collection only adds to the delights to be found at this unique location.

They call it a ‘poshienda.’ With a view. And a vanishing edge pool that looks out over the vast curve of the Earth offering a breathtaking vista that is also as wide as the sky can get in Loyal Valley. It took Carol and Craig Conlee less than 30 minutes to write an offer on the mid-century ranch headquarters back in 2005 and then another three years to move there.

The structure is a combination of ‘Mex-Italique’ a phrase they have come to coin when attempting to describe TRES LUNAS. Having built and sold a successful resort/event/bed & breakfast in the College Station area, they set their sights on a ‘destination location’ for a new challenge offering bed & dinner and cushy adventure.

The main house is a combination of stucco and stone with a Mexican tile floor that was commissioned in Mexico. The rough surface of the tile, which is the bottom surface, was stained and used face-up to offer an ancient ‘old world’ look that follows the quatrefoil design of the pool in the courtyard. Interior walls are treated with a clay product that creates the feel of adobe and a low, yet contemporary styled, stone fireplace runs the length of the wood ceiling great room that offers a gallery to display the couple’s art collection.

The dining room chairs are a rare find. Each of the eight chairs are original Corps dorm chairs from Texas A&M that date back to the 30’s, complete with carved initials and whittled arms. They are a great match for the main dining table, which is a well-worn high school art table.

The property is equipped with a commercial kitchen, butler’s pantry and an additional ‘gallery/workshop/yoga’ area that connects to a writing/art studio, both which open to a back courtyard that offers a view the hillside above and behind the house.

The guest suites, as well as the Master Suite, all open to the pool/courtyard area and are styled with platform beds, designed and built by the Conlee’s. The artwork and furnishings offer a minimalist approach to the Texas Zen-like simplicity of old Mission design. Each window in the suites is complimented by solid dark wooden shutters that have heavy hand-forged hinges, providing an as-needed retreat from the bright Summer sun. The entire house has a tongue and groove wooden ceiling which offers a warm, cozy bungalow effect, making efficient use of the space.

A guesthouse, called UNA LUNA, is adjacent to the main structure.

The event again features a live and silent auction to include fabulous items for collectors of art and fine crafts, events for sporting enthusiasts and weekend getaways. The list of items continues to grow; and will be one of the most extensive selections around by the time the event arrives.

The live entertainment for the evening will once again feature Jazz Concho, a quintet of musicians from San Angelo. The group is comprised of five professionals and educators who share a common dream of creating jazz at a quality level. In the past, the Spring Benefit guests have found the live music an excellent accompaniment while they visit with friends and enjoy the tempting buffet of food and drink.

The many contributors to this event, from the hosts, sponsors and guests, to the artists and the many, many volunteers involved in planning of this great event, all join in the goal of the local affiliate in their Christian ministry of providing decent, affordable housing to qualifying partner families in need. They recognize their efforts to be a 'hand up, not a handout' to those who strive to realize the dream of home ownership. And each partnership, in turn, benefits the community as a whole.

Last year, the Spring Benefit had to make a last minute move to their "rain location," the Fort Mason Park Community Building. Though we were not able to enjoy the hospitality of Mr. & Mrs. Logan Stevens, as planned, we would like to once again extend our thanks to them for having done so much work to help us last year, in spite of the rain.

The Benefit is being held a bit later this year than in the past, and organizers are optimistic that the weather will cooperate to make it a stellar evening. For more information, or to inquire about purchasing tickets, call 325-347-9591, or ask any Habitat director. Tickets are $40 per person, and are available at various locations around Mason.

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