Kitchen Kapers tour raises money to help cancer patients keep hair

For visitors, next Sunday’s Kitchen Kapers offers a chance to tour fabulous kitchens.

For participants, it offers much more.

The annual event, now in its 33rd year, showcases recently remodeled Upper Arlington kitchens. This year’s tour highlights eight homes, most of them within a few blocks of Lane Avenue. 

For Kelly Cousins, president of the event, the tour offers a make-up opportunity for 2020, when the event was cancelled for the first time in its history.

“We missed last year, and there’s so much pent-up excitement for these homes,” Cousins said. “People have watched these homes being renovated as they walked through Upper Arlington and finally get a chance to see them.” 

Brent and Heather Wrightsel's remodeled kitchen features a wine cellar. "We wanted more space and more cabinets," Heather Wrightsel said. "Our old kitchen was pretty outdated."

Most of the homes on the tour have been remodeled within the past three years, showcasing up-to-date features and finishes such as waterfall countertops, hidden refrigerators, artisan range hoods, multiple sinks, work-horse pantries and massive islands (one 15-foot monster capable of seating 10 diners).

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Brent and Heather Wrightsel are opening their home, which they bought in 2019 after renovating and expanding it with builder Michael Edwards. In addition to a 5-by-12-foot countertop, the home features a butler pantry large enough to serve as a working kitchen, a custom range hood (by Mark Metal Works) and a glass-encased wine cellar.

“I was super-excited to be part of the fundraiser,” Heather Wrightsel said. “I’ve been on the tour before, and every time I do I want to blow out my kitchen and redo it.” 

More space and cabinets were also a key to the kitchen renovation, Heather Wrightsel said.

Kitchen Kapers tour raises money for cancer services at OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital

But beyond the gleaming countertops, commercial appliances and custom cabinetry lies a serious mission: to raise money for cancer services at OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital.

For Cousins and some others involved in the event, the mission carries personal meaning. In late 2019, shortly before accepting the president’s position, Cousins found out her mother had cancer.