CAPE ELIZABETH – The upcoming Maine Home + Design Biennial Kitchen Tour is the premier fundraising event for the Cape Elizabeth Education Foundation, says Barbee Gilman, Kitchen Tour co-chair. And this year’s tour, as in years past, is expected to draw hundreds of people to visit 12 remodeled Cape kitchens while supporting a good cause.

According to Gilman, the Cape Elizabeth Education Foundation (CEEF), “raises money from a variety of sources, but this is their biggest fundraiser.”

“The money is pooled together, and principals and teachers (from all three Cape Elizabeth schools) can submit grant applications that get funded through CEEF,” said Gilman. “Their mission is to fund projects that fall outside of the school budget.”

Since its inception in 2002, the foundation has awarded schools in Cape Elizabeth more than $1 million in grants. The 2014 CEEF Play for Education Golf Tournament this summer, sponsored by Bath Savings Institution, raised more than $13,000 for programs benefiting Cape Elizabeth teachers, staff and students, said Gilman.

Sarah Tierney, foundation director and a homeowner who will be showcasing her kitchen during the 2014 Kitchen Tour, said two of her own children have gone through the Cape Elizabeth school system and have “been directly impacted by all of the CEEF grants, starting with when they were in elementary school.”

According to Tierney, the foundation awarded a grant to the Cape Elizabeth High School several years ago to establish the school’s Achievement Center, which opened in 2005. At the Achievement Center, students can get extra help with their schoolwork, prepare for SATs, and have one-on-one tutoring in a variety of subjects.

“Not only are faculty available to help, but they also have peer tutors,” said Tierney. “My daughter got help with her chemistry (work) there. All of these years later, it’s now a fixture in the high school. It’s hard to imagine the kids doing without it,” she said.

The third biennial tour in 2012, which was also CEEF’s 10th anniversary, raised more than $30,000 to support programs that benefit teachers, staff and students in Cape Elizabeth, according to Gilman. This year’s Kitchen Tour, sponsored by Legacy Properties and Sotheby’s International Realty, is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 20, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Registration will take place at C-Salt Gourmet Market at 349 Ocean House Road in Cape Elizabeth, where attendees will be given a tour brochure and map.

Gilman, who is also a former foundation board member, said the Kitchen Tour is “all about raising money for the (Cape Elizabeth Education) Foundation in a fun way,” but also a chance for Cape Elizabeth homeowners to promote their elaborate kitchen designs.

“The tour has been really successful because a lot of the money (about three-quarters) has come from the sponsors and advertisers,” Gilman said. “We have about 500-600 attendees each year.”

Gilman said the tour is an opportunity for people to see the work of the builders and kitchen designers firsthand, and to meet them and ask them questions. To keep the tour fresh, “we like to balance the colors and styles and price points of the homes we have on the tour,” said Gilman.

People attend the Cape Elizabeth Kitchen Tour for different reasons, said Gilman, but many purchase tickets to support Cape Elizabeth’s schools. Others who attend are embarking on their own kitchen renovations and are seeking new trends and design ideas, she said.

Personally, Gilman is “excited about the variety of homes this year. We have a lot of interesting features we want people to see,” including a couple of old farmhouses with remodeled kitchens. “We have a nice mix of colors and styles,” said Gilman.

Tierney said, along with helping to raise money for Cape’s schools, she is looking forward to opening her kitchen to the public. Her kitchen was renovated with the help of Spang Builders, Old Port Specialty Tile, architect Josef Chalat, Jeanne Rapone Designs, and Cook + Cook Cabinetry.

A custom backsplash behind her stove was designed with accents of marble and glass, which enhance the classic look of her white cabinets. According to Tierney, all of the homes involved in the tour incorporate their own unique elements.

“We had such a great experience with our renovation,” Tierney said. “The whole thing was flawless from start to finish.”

Dorie Barber, a homeowner who has worked as a Kitchen Tour volunteer, said the tour is “a wonderful event that generates really good ideas and showcases local contractors and designers and supports CEEF’s mission.”

Another homeowner, Rose Wood, said that her kitchen was renovated in 2010. Her home, which overlooks the ocean, was built in the 1990s, and before the renovation, it had many small rooms, and the kitchen was outdated.

Her kitchen is now twice the size and very bold and modern.

“We really needed to use the space efficiently, and I think we accomplished that,” said Wood, “and I really enjoy trying to help people to figure out how to best use the spaces in their (own) houses.”


This year’s Cape Elizabeth Kitchen Tour is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 20, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Registration will take place at C-Salt Gourmet Market at 349 Ocean House Road in Cape Elizabeth. Tickets can be purchased for $20 in advance or $25 on the day of the tour at Cape Elizabeth Community Services at 343 Ocean House Road or online at

This kitchen at 21 Reef Road in Cape Elizabeth will be one of 12 kitchens showcased in the 4th Biennial Cape Elizabeth Kitchen Tour on Saturday, Sept. 20. The lead sponsor of the kitchen work is the Knickerbocker Group, who handled the architecture, construction and interior design. Morningstar Stone and Tile installed the countertops, and Old Port Specialty Tile provided the tile.  

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