Public and Private Donors Support Restoration and Preservation of Willistead Manor
$200,000 Combined Donation from Charleigh Charitable Trust, Rotary Club of Windsor (1918), and City of Windsor Fundraiser
Mayor Drew Dilkens was joined today by members of City Council, City Administration, Willistead Manor Inc., the Friends of Willistead, Rotary Club of Windsor (1918) and others at a special reception to recognize donors and supporters of Willistead Manor.
Held in person for the first time since the start of the pandemic, the annual reception provided an opportunity for Willistead Manor enthusiasts to deliver sizeable donations in support of Windsor’s historic gem in Walkerville.
Mayor Dilkens presented a cheque for $15,000 to Willistead Manor Inc., with the funds having been raised at last summer’s Roaring 20s at the Manor fundraiser dinner celebrating the unveiling of the Hiram Walker Commemorative Statue and the grand opening of the permanent Coach House Historical Exhibition.
Rotary Club of Windsor (1918) presented a cheque for $85,737.57 to the City of Windsor, with the funds having been raised at last summer’s 42nd Annual Art in the Park Festival. The festival broke annual attendance records, with more than 40,000 attendees, about 230 exhibitors, lineups around the block, and record sales. Proceeds from the festival support the restoration of Willistead Manor as well as Rotary’s many charitable projects year after year.
Charleigh Charitable Trust announced a $100,000 donation, to be given in increments of $25,000 over four years, on behalf of the Walker Family descendants. The donation, from Leigh and Charles Merinoff, was presented on behalf of their family: their parents Pam and Tony Morse, and their children Leslie Merinoff and Brian Kwasnieski, and Andrew Merinoff and Lauren Pikovski. Pamela Morse, Hiram Walker’s great-great granddaughter, and her husband Tony were on hand to present the cheque to the Willistead Manor Inc. Board of Directors.
The Walker descendants previously joined with the Board, the Friends of Willistead, and the City of Windsor in support of the Coach House Historical Exhibition, which shares the history of Hiram Walker, the Walker businesses and community impacts, the formation of Walkerville, Edward and Mary Walker, the construction and uses of Willistead Manor, and much more.
“City Council and the City of Windsor remain committed to heritage conservation and preservation at the historic Willistead Manor in Walkerville. We are thrilled with these recent generous contributions from the City’s fundraiser last summer, from Rotary Club of Windsor (1918) and Art in the Park, and from the Charleigh Charitable Trust and Walker Family descendants. With this ongoing support, we are able to keep the manor house, the surrounding buildings, and the park site vibrant, thriving and brimming with heritage, culture and art all year long. This is a great day for Willistead Manor, and the City is grateful for these significant contributions.”- City of Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens
“We are honoured to see our family legacy celebrated in the City of Windsor. We greatly appreciate the work of the Willistead Board, the Friends of Willistead, and the City of Windsor to preserve the manor and the story of the Walker family. We are very happy to support their worthwhile efforts with this donation to Willistead on behalf of our family: Our parents Pamela and Tony Morse, and our children Leslie Merinoff and Brian Kwasnieski, and Andrew Merinoff and Lauren Pikovski.” - Leigh and Charles Merinoff, on behalf of the Walker Family descendants
“The Willistead Manor Inc. Board of Directors is excited by the incredible community engagement with Willistead Manor from donors, supporters and manor guests, particularly over the last few years. From the unveiling of the Hiram Walker Commemorative Statue and the grand opening of our permanent Coach House Historical Exhibition, through to the screening of the Willistead documentary at WIFF and today’s announcement of generous donations – it is an exciting time to be working to preserve and share the story of Willistead Manor in the City of Windsor.”- Douglas Sanborn, Chair, Willistead Manor Inc. Board of Directors
“The Rotary Club of Windsor (1918) is looking forward to hosting a very successful 2023 Art in the Park festival. We enjoyed record attendance in 2022, and we are excited to once again kick off the City of Windsor’s festival season this year.”- Leona MacIntyre, President, Rotary Club of Windsor (1918)
For more information on Willistead Manor, please visit Willistead.ca.