PREVENTING COMUNNITY DETERIORATION
The Sainte Marie Foundation supports continuing efforts to keep Sainte Marie as beautiful and pristine as it has always been.
In October 2007, the Sainte Marie Foundation paid the delinquent taxes on an abandoned house located on Embarras Street across from the old Parish Hall. Although complications arose regarding this property for over five years, the Foundation persevered and eventually acquired the property via a tax deed in mid-2012. In late 2012, the house was demolished, thus eliminating an eyesore for this pristine little village.
One of the most vivid and talked-about efforts of the Foundation has been its central beautification project. For the past three summers, fourteen cascading-flower baskets have graced Main Street, an effort that requires local volunteers to water the flowers daily in warm weather.
With the Sainte Marie Community Club, the Foundation has sponsored other spirited efforts including Garden Walk 2009, a Light Up the Village and Tree Trimming Party.
2008 COME BACK HOME
Over 200 people attended the first Come Back Home celebration that was held on Aug. 20, 2008. Starting with a buffet lunch at the Hideout (delicious, everyone agreed), the day evolved into a mix of parade, horse-drawn wagon rides and tours, viewing old pictures in the fire house, watching the historical DVD's in the Village Hall Board Room and visiting with former Sainte Marie residents who hadn't seen each other in years. From 4-6 p.m. the Foundation House was open for viewing, and folks wandered into all the rooms (not very pretty at this point with falling plaster and peeling wallpaper), expressing hope that we will be able to get the inside renovation soon.
2009 A HOMETOWN CELEBRATION
In 2009, a similar program, A Hometown Celebration, featured an early morning 5K Fun/Run; a wedding picture exhibit featuring weddings of Sainte Marie residents over the years, provided by the very creative Annette Reis Lynch (this exhibit is on permanent display at the Foundation House Museum); an artists’ exhibit showing the artwork of over six artists who grew up in Sainte Marie, including well-known regional artist Helen Keller Graham; a mini-parade with lots of decorated bikes and golf carts and other activities of interest to the many people who attended. The Foundation again offered an Open House to show all the improvements that had been made during the year at the Foundation House.
In 2010, James Litzelman returned to his hometown to play a benefit piano concert and in 2011 Dorothy Helregel Mathious did the same with a vocal concert. Both played to full houses at St. Mary of the Assumption Church.
In 2012, the 175th Celebration was the biggest homecoming celebration since the 150th anniversary in 1987.
SAINTE MARIE FOUNDATION