Shirley Curson-Prue

“Memphis Jazz & Soul” raises cash for Belle Vue Conservancy

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Belle Vue Conservancy’s latest fundraiser brought a touch of Memphis to Amherstburg and raised about $5,000 towards the historic mansion’s restoration.

Shirley Curson-Prue, president of the Belle Vue Conservancy, said they sold out the “Memphis Jazz & Soul for Belle Vue” fundraiser held recently at The Artisan Grill.

Renée King-Jackson and her Fabulous Foursome performed at a recent Belle Vue Conservancy fundraiser held at The Artisan Grill.

“The gross revenue for the evening was over $10, 000 and I believe net proceeds will be over $5,000 to the ACF (Amherstburg Community Foundation),” said Curson-Prue. “Our current target is to raise money for the windows since I believe all that was required has been collected and paid for the roof.”

Before and after a Memphis-themed meal complete with brisket, chicken, ribs, blackened catfish and much more, the sell-out crowd of 80 people enjoyed the music of Renée King-Jackson and her Fabulous Foursome. King-Jackson did more soul than jazz and performed differently than a previous Belle Vue Conservancy fundraiser, added Curson-Prue.

“Not everyone attended both events. Of those who did, some I spoke to liked it better, and some liked the June concert more,” she said. “Same with the food, but overall it was a very good evening again from all reports.”

Renée King-Jackson and her Fabulous Foursome performed at a recent Belle Vue Conservancy fundraiser held at The Artisan Grill.

Curson-Prue added there is a planning meeting for the Belle Vue Conservancy’s working group this week so upcoming events should be able to be confirmed soon.

For more information about the Belle Vue Conservancy or to donate, visit www.bellevueconservancy.com.

Belle Vue Conservancy pleased with “All that Jazz” fundraiser

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Belle Vue Conservancy is pleased with its most recent fundraiser, the June 25 “All That Jazz for Belle Vue” event.

A sold out crowd of over 80 people came to the Artisan Grill for the Monday night show with the featured entertainment being Renée King-Jackson and her Fabulous Foursome. Conservancy president Shirley Curson-Prue said the entertainment and the meal provided by the Artisan Grill made the night one to remember.

“That was an amazing combination,” said Curson-Prue. “(King-Jackson) is really, really professional.”

Curson-Prue said King-Jackson and the band got people involved as numerous people got up and danced throughout the night.

Renée King-Jackson and her Fabulous Foursome perform at the Belle Vue Conservancy’s “All That Jazz for Belle Vue” event recently at the Artisan Grill.

“She’s so enthusiastic about Belle Vue,” said Curson-Prue. “We couldn’t have asked for any better entertainment. We couldn’t have asked for better food.”

People who attended ranged in age and Curson-Prue said many commented as they were leaving that they had a good time. She added that few, if any, left as the event was happening.

“People liked the enthusiasm. It was a great combination,” said Curson-Prue. “It turned into a real party. Everyone loved the music. She really did appeal to everyone.”

The Belle Vue Conservancy had “generous sponsors” for the event with Curson-Prue adding that they also had a good partnership with the Amherstburg Freedom Museum, as the latter helped sell tickets.

“We sold out within two weeks,” said Curson-Prue.

The event raised over $2,600.

Plans are underway for the second annual “Birdies & Bogies for Belle Vue,” with this year’s event being a nine-hole event Aug. 10 at Sutton Creek Golf Club. Cost is $75 per person and includes nine holes of golf, a cart and a steak dinner. Register by contacting Meg Reiner at 519-890-4425 or e-mail her at megreiner9@gmail.com.

People can also register by calling Curson-Prue at 519-736-6947.

For more information on the Belle Vue Conservancy, visit www.bellevueconservancy.com or call

Belle Vue Conservancy gives update to town council

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Belle Vue Conservancy has given town council an update on their progress.

Conservancy president Shirley Curson-Prue appeared before town council at the Sept. 25 meeting to give elected officials, administration and the public more information on what has been collected through donations and other fundraising.

The information regarding cash-on-hand was as of Sept. 14 with that information showing that $115,946.23 had been received. A breakdown of that figure showed that $9,045 was collected through online donations while $60,936 came in through cheques. Other sources of revenue factored into the overall total included the $5,200 made from the WSO “Leading Notes” concert at Christ Church, the $8,000 raised from “Golf Birdies and Bogies” golf tournament and the $28,000-plus won in the National Trust for Canada’s “This Place Matters” online crowdfunding contest.

Other revenue collected by the Belle Vue Conservancy includes $9,861.80 in in-kind donations receipted, $5,049.20 from their recent yard sale, $90,600 in donation commitments and roughly $25,000 from the “Puttin’ on the Ritz” fashion gala at Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery.

Belle Vue Conservancy president Shirley Curson-Prue (left) addresses town council as treasurer Michael Prue holds the painting of Belle Vue done by artist Peter Rindlisbacher.

Curson-Prue pointed out additional funds will be raised through the sale of prints of Peter Rindlisbacher’s painting of the building and future fundraising efforts. She indicated there is a grant they are looking at applying for but noted the application deadline is Oct. 6.

Curson-Prue thanked the donors, town and River Town Times for their assistance in fundraising, and noted that the funds raised thus far could be put to use. She shared a motion from the conservancy’s Sept. 11 meeting which requested that money raised and deposited with the Amherstburg Community Foundation be used to repair the roof, clean out and repair eavestroughs, install solar lighting and cameras to deter trespassers, remove asbestos, repair “targeted windows” using $10,000 of the “This Place Matters” prize money, utilize pro bono cleanup and allow monthly cleanup of the grounds by staff and volunteers.

Councillor Joan Courtney praised the work of the conservancy and said they are working “non stop” on trying to restore the 200-year-old building.

“What you’ve achieved already is awe-inspiring,” said Curson-Prue.

Later in the meeting, concern was brought forth by residents about a possible roadway to Belle Vue from Sandwich St. S. CAO John Miceli said the roadway is conceptual at this point and that it has not been formally approved by council.

Miceli indicated that local projects, including Belle Vue, have to be looked at for what is good for the community as a whole. He added that the parking lot just south of the police station is still required for municipal business and that while it needs to be paved to live up to municipal bylaws, the site itself is not designated historical.

“The attractions that would have made it a heritage site were removed in the 1960’s,” said Miceli.

Sold out crowd “puts on the ritz” for Belle Vue

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A sold out crowd was at Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery Sunday evening for a five-course meal, fashion show and more all to help restore the historic Belle Vue house.

The Belle Vue Conservancy presented its “Puttin’ on the Ritz” gala with 185 tickets sold for the event. Early estimates have the event raising over $25,000.

“We’re just so grateful for everyone coming out to support the Belle Vue initiative. We can’t believe how many people have responded positively to our initiative and to our gala,” said conservancy member Linda Jackson, who also chaired the gala committee.

Nancy Greenaway was one of the models during Sunday evening’s fashion show that was featured as part of the “Puttin’ on the Ritz” fashion gala at Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery. It was a fundraiser for the Belle Vue Conservancy.

Jackson thanked the sponsors, including elite level sponsor Elite K9 Kennels. Gold sponsors were Desjardins Financial Security, Dollars & Cents Investments and Bellavance Nursery and Landscaping while the Cole Clinic, Amherstburg GMC Buick, Seasons Amherstburg and Bornais Insurance were silver sponsors.

“The appeal is it’s a wonderful venue and we hope people came out to raise money for the Belle Vue national historic site,” Jackson said at Sunday’s gala.

Jackson also credited Natalia Bezzoubkin of A La Mode and Peter Leardi of 67 Richmond St. for aiding with the evening’s fashion show while Renee King-Jackson, Michael Karloff and Michael Karoub provided musical entertainment. Smashed Apple Gourmet Catering prepared the five-course meal. She also thanked Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery for going “out of their way to help us.”

Lynne Fox takes her turn down the runway at the “Puttin’ on the Ritz” gala Sept. 24.

The Belle Vue Conservancy has people with numerous backgrounds helping out, she added.

“We work very diligently, we work very hard for Belle Vue,” stated Jackson. “We are fortunate in our conservancy to have a diversity of people.”

Shirley Curson-Prue, conservancy president and gala co-chair, called it a “fabulous” turnout.

Renee King-Jackson performs at “Puttin’ on the Ritz.”

“We’re trying to get into as many demographics as possible,” said Curson-Prue.

Curson-Prue said they want to involve more people as they continue to raise money.

Michael Prue, treasurer of the conservancy, said the community has pulled together for Belle Vue.

“I’m so proud of the community. I’m so proud of the people that are coming together for the house,” said Prue.

Among the attendees at last Sunday night’s gala were Cal Parent, Jack Edwards, Sandra Edwards and Linda Parent.

Prue said they are about one-third of the way to their $1 million goal and said the community is “helping us make a crown jewel for Amherstburg.”

To donate, visit www.bellevueconservancy.com or www.amherstburg.ca/donate.

Belle Vue Conservancy brings community together with yard sale

 

 

By Jolene Perron

 

Over the weekend, the front lawn of Belle Vue was filled with old teacups, paintings, jewelry and other donated things by the community to assist the Belle Vue conservancy in raising more money for the restoration.

The Sept. 16-17 yard sale at Belle Vue raised $5,049.20.

“We put forward a notice to the community to ask them to please donate because we wanted to do this as a fundraiser for Belle Vue and we were absolutely thrilled at the number of people that brought things to us and the number of things that they brought,” explained conservancy member Shirley Curson-Prue. “We had really excellent response to that which made us very happy and then we set it up most of Thursday and Friday, and then started the sale this morning.”

Curson-Prue explained how some donations didn’t even make it to the sales floor, but instead will be going right into the house. One was a pump organ, which Curson-Prue said was in pristine condition and it more than 100 years old. Another item was a press machine, which was used in the 1930s by servants in big houses to press the tablecloths.

The Sept. 16-17 yard sale at Belle Vue raised $5,049.20.

The conservancy would like to thank everyone who not only donated items, but who came out to the yard sale and purchased items and made donations.

The Belle Vue Conservancy posted on its Facebook page Tuesday evening, after the Sept. 13 print issue of the River Town Times went to press, that the yard sale raised $5,049.20.

Their next event is the “Puttin’ on the Ritz” fashion gala at Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery Sept. 24. For information, visit www.bellevueconservancy.com.