The 51st fashion show to raise funds for the  Longacre House took place Sept. 23 at  Glen Oaks Country Club in Farmington Hills.

The 51st fashion show to raise funds for the Longacre House took place Sept. 23 at Glen Oaks Country Club in Farmington Hills.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Recent fundraiser event for the Longacre House may have been the last

By: Mark Vest | Farmington Press | Published October 5, 2021

 This year’s fashion show to raise funds for the Longacre House may have been the last as two longtime volunteers have decided to step away from their roles.

This year’s fashion show to raise funds for the Longacre House may have been the last as two longtime volunteers have decided to step away from their roles.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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FARMINGTON HILLS — The 51st fashion show to help raise funds for the Longacre House in Farmington Hills took place Sept. 24 at the Glen Oaks Country Club in Farmington Hills.

Farmington Hills residents Linda Wantin and Tina Jensen have each been acting as volunteers to help raise funds for the house for a number of years, and in recent years they have taken on the primary responsibility of putting the shows together.

Due to circumstances in both of their lives, they have decided to step away from their roles, which means the most recent fashion show may have been the last.

According to Wantin, the fashion shows have been the biggest source of fundraising for the Longacre House for approximately the last 10 years.

Funds raised have helped to maintain the house, which was built in 1869.

“We’ve redone most every room in the house,” Wantin said.

In 1968, after the house’s owner, Luman Goodenough, died, the family donated the house and 5 acres of grounds to the people of Farmington to be used as a nonprofit community center.

Wantin said it became a “cultural center,” in which there have been birthday parties, bar mitzvahs and funerals.

She shared information about the reason the house came to be named what it is.

“It was named that because of the way the property is situated,” Wantin said. “They are long acres, and that’s how it got named that.”

Wantin estimated that she has been involved with the Longacre House for “probably” 40 years.

She expanded on why this may have been the last year for the fashion show event.

“Tina Jensen and I have been doing it for a lot (of) years,” Wantin said. “We lost our husbands this last year, both of us. It’s time to move on and do some other volunteer work too. I’m hoping the city will possibly keep it running under their cultural arts program.”

Jensen estimated that she has been involved with fundraising events with the Longacre House since 1984 or 1985.

She was asked about the kind of emotions she was going through leading up to the last fashion show event.

“Bittersweet, because (of) all my friends that have been coming all these years,” Jensen said. “Friends and community people that have been coming for many years, they say, ‘You mean this is the last one?’ We say, ‘Yeah, because the two of us and our one helper (Deanna Grace), we don’t feel we can continue; we don’t feel we can continue to do it with changes in our own lives.’ … Other people haven’t stepped up to say they (want to) do it.”

Wantin discussed where things may go from here.

“The city of Farmington Hills owns the house now, so it would be up to them to keep it running,” she said. “If they chose to do more fundraisers, it would be up to them. I would be willing to help, but I can’t do it all anymore, and neither can Tina.”

The role Jensen, Wantin and other residents have played has gone a long way toward maintaining the historic house.

“Basically, we started because we wanted to be able to do a few more things in maintenance areas that the money could raise,” Jensen said. “We don’t earn tons each year, but over time I heard (we’ve) earned a quarter-million dollars over the 51 years we’ve been doing it.”

Wantin’s volunteering efforts for the Longacre House over all these years have come with powerful motivation.

“The Longacre House is a love of mine,” she said. “I love the historic value of it, and I love to see it running so well. … And I love to see it look beautiful. The monies we’ve raised has really helped to make it look good and be attractive to people for renting it and for classes.”

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