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Filicia opens home, raises funds for historical society

Thom Filicia, right, shares memories of his East Lake Road house with previous owner Steve White, left, during the Skaneateles Historical Society fundraiser on Aug. 27.

Thom Filicia, right, shares memories of his East Lake Road house with previous owner Steve White, left, during the Skaneateles Historical Society fundraiser on Aug. 27. Tanner Scarr

— While Thom Filicia may be best known to others for his role on the former hit-show, “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” it was his generosity Saturday that Skaneateles residents were discussing inside his East Lake Road summer-home.

Filicia, who is a Syracuse native, opened his doors to approximately 200 people to help raise money for the Skaneateles Historical Society’s Creamery Expansion Project on Hannum Street.

“I’ve opened my home to the Skaneateles Historical Society because a lot of the folks involved are my friends, and I think it’s important to this community,” said Filicia. “The Creamery is a very important thing to recognize, not only from the historical aspect, but also from the idea of renovating and updating existing structures.”

As a prominent interior designer, Filicia is more than familiar with renovating, which was one of the draw-ins for Saturday’s fundraiser.

The former television star has spent the past few years renovating the lakeside home, which many had believed should be demolished. Filicia noted the home was built in the early 1900s.

“My approach was to design something that felt fresh, and new, and appropriate, and authentic to what Skaneateles was, what Skaneateles is, and what Skaneateles will be,” he said.

Tickets for the “Champagne and Sliders” event ranged from $60 to $75 per person, which included a tour throughout the home and refreshments in the backyard. They went on sale July 15 and sold out in a matter of weeks.

The historical society began fundraising for the Creamery expansion project approximately three-to-four years ago, raising about $700,000. The new Boat and Transportation wing of the museum opened in July, but more work is still needed such as moving the gift shop and the director’s office, and creating a new research space.

Bent Thomsen, historical society board member, said prior to Saturday’s open house about $100,000 of funds was still needed.

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