Picture the past
Victorian Tea and Garden Tour organizers Claire Ivanski and Claire Desrochers welcomed Russell Township Mayor Pierre Leroux to the seventh annual event on Sat., June 23. Leroux was joined at the last seating of the evening with a group of family and friends to join in for the Victorian tradition. Sawyer Helmer photo
Kalynn Sawyer Helmer
EMBRUN – The seventh annual Victorian Tea and Garden Tour, organized by Claire Ivanski and Claire Desrochers, was met with periods of light rain but that did not deter the sold-out crowd from enjoying a traditional Victorian afternoon.
The event, which raises funds for the Breast Cancer Foundation, began when Ivanski approached Desrochers about adding a public tea to her repertoire. Desrochers had been hosting teas for her friends and family but had never imagined opening her old Victorian home to be a spectacle for a public fundraiser. With the help of Ivanski’s organizing, the pair have created a delightful annual event that has been a highlight in the community for the last seven years.
Held at the home of Desrochers and Marcel Beauchamp, the tea features traditional silver tea sets, fine china and lace table settings. Desrochers, who said she loves to cook and bake, makes all of the delicious treats herself with food donated by local merchants. That way, the full ticket price can go towards the Breast Cancer Foundation. To add to the donation total were gifts and draws from products totalling $700.
After tea, guests are invited to tour the gardens with the guidance of Beauchamp. The many acres of gardens are both cultivated and uncultivated to create a variety of atmospheres. Also helping to set the mood was the live entertainment by the Embrun local’s The Brisson Brothers.
This year, the three seating times were sold out in advance with 120 people making their way through the grounds to enjoy the day and support a worthy cause. Once again the event will have raised just over $6,000 for the Foundation.
Ivanski and Desrochers explained that next year’s tea and tour will be the last. As an active fundraiser, Ivanski said she looks forward to trying something new.