Enchanted evening planned in aid of steeple restoration

By Stephen Dafoe

Morinville – A wedding planner is putting her skills to use in aid of the People for the Steeple campaign to save St. Jean Baptiste Church’s steeple. Jennifer Lawrence of Posh Weddings is organizing the Enchantment Under the Sea event set to take place at the Morinville Community Cultural Centre Nov. 10. The event includes a dinner, dance and silent auction. All profits will go directly to the restoration project.

Lawrence said she was motivated to plan the fundraiser after reading The Morinville News’ article on the plight of the church in raising $250,000 by mid-November. “I was completely unaware,” she said of the steeple’s condition. “I grew up my whole life here and the thought of the steeple not being there … and I just figured it was a perfect opportunity for the town to come together for something that I think means a lot to everybody, whether you go to church there or not.”

Lawrence is hoping people of all faiths or no faith at all will support the fundraiser to preserve a significant part of Morinville’s history. “I don’t think it has anything to do with religion,” Lawrence said. “I think it has to do with historical significance. You drive through Morinville. You even just pass us on the highway and you see that. It’s a beautiful place whether you are religious or not. I think people should help, not because it is the Catholic church but because it is a part of Morinville.”

As a wedding planner Lawrence is all too aware of the value of the building and church rounds to tourism in Morinville. “I have brides who beg to have pictures in front of the church,” she said, noting the request often comes from those who did not hold their wedding in the church. “I think it is part of being proud to be from Morinville. We have such beautiful architecture.”

Back to the Future inspiration

“After I read the article … I thought of the movie Back to the Future,” Lawrence said. “It was because of saving the clock tower. And this is saving the steeple. So Enchantment Under the Sea just happens to be the theme from the movie.”

The dinner, dance and silent auction will be a dress up affair, what Lawrence refers to as a nice evening out in aid of a good cause.

Plenty of support

Lawrence said plenty of local businesses have stepped up to assist in the evening fundraiser. Kelly’s Bakery is providing the catering at a deep discount, Bouchard Graphics has stepped up to design and provide tickets and posters, and Kathy MacDougal from Engravit has donated special Christmas ornaments as an added fundraising component of the campaign. “That will contribute as well to the fund,” Lawrence said. “She has completely donated everything. Her time. Her supplies. Everything.” Lawrence said the ornaments would be available at Vintage Petals, Guardian Drugs and Kelly’s Bakery at a cost of $5 each.

Tickets for the evening fundraiser are $75 per person, $125 per couple and $500 for a table of eight. Doors open at 6 p.m. Dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. and the dance is set to begin at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are available at Vintage Petals Tea House.

Above: Jennifer Lawrence of Posh Weddings displays a couple of the engraved ornaments designed by Engravit. The ornaments are one component of a fundraiser being organized to save the St. Jean Baptiste Church Steeple.

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