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May 24, 2007

(May 24, 2007) – ST. LOUIS, MO....LES AMIS, the Mid-Mississippi Valley's Creole cultural preservationist organization and FRENCH HERITAGE SOCIETY, which supports French architectural patrimony in both the United States and France, will enjoy a new association.

Robert Fulstone, President of Les Amis, and Jane Bernbach, French Heritage Society's Special Projects Coordinator for Ste. Genevieve and the liaison between FHS and the mid-Mississippi River Valley's Creole heritage, made the announcement jointly at Les Amis' Annual Meeting on May 24 at the Racquet Club/Ladue in St. Louis County.

The two organizations share the common goals of preserving the best of France's legacy from its once great empire in the New World which extended from Quebec down the St. Lawrence Valley to the Mississippi River Valley and finally to the Gulf of Mexico. Les Amis' perimeters are defined by the region extending from Cahokia-Chester, Illinois on the east bank of the river and from Ste. Genevieve-St. Louis on the west bank. This Creole District was just nominated a UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE on April 1 for the first stage of what will be a formal international approval process. French Heritage Society, founded in 1982 with a mission to preserve architecture in the United States and in France, has provided over 10 million dollars, including matching funds, to the restoration of more than 400 significant monuments including châteaux, churches, historic buildings and gardens, and continues to support meaningful educational exchanges between the two countries. Read more…

December 2, 2005

(December 2, 2005) – December 2, 2005......Actress Olivia de Haviland ("Gone with the Wind") who lives in
Paris sent an old map of the Louisiana Territory to her longtime friend, Elizabeth Gentry Sayad, Chairman Emeritus of Les Amis ("The Friends") last summer. "...with your interest in the French presence on the North American continent, you might like to have it." She had purchased it many years ago at a quayside bookstall along the river Seine. It depicts the New World as it was known in 1698.

Sayad had it framed and presented it to Jim Baker, Site Administrator of the Felix Valle Historic Site in Ste. Genevieve, Mo. for the Beauvais-Amoureux House. The occasion was Les Amis' holiday program at the West Brentmoor home of Isabel and Jean-Paul Montupet. Other "amis" who attended included Bob and Kathy Fulstone, William Connett, Mary and Bob Officer, Peter and Marianne Gleich, John Harney, Ron Sauget, and Mary King Swayzee. Les Amis is the region's Creole cultural preservationist organization. Read more…

May 6, 2004

(May 6, 2004) – Ste. Genevieve, Mo....Les Amis, ("The Friends"), the region's creole colonial heritage preservation group, announces two lasting legacies it will fund following the recent Louisiana Purchase Bicentennial Ball and Three Flags Festival in St. Louis. Proceeds from the Ball netted over to $150,000 for restoration work on the Bauvais-Amoureux House.

About 350 attended the Ball at the Khorassan Room of the Chase-Park Plaza Hotel, hosted by "Thomas Jefferson." At least one-third of the guests wore period attire and the great majority joined in the Grand March following dinner. Reservations cost between $1000-$150 per person. French chefs from the famous Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute participated in the preparation of the four-course menu which featured French, Spanish, Osage and American specialties. French Ambassador and Mme. Jean-David Levitte, French Consul General Dominique Decherf, and Principal Osage Chief and Mrs. James Gray were among the guests who came from Kansas City, Jefferson City, New Orleans, Washington, D.C. and Ste. Genevieve.

Plans for several restoration projects at the Bauvais-Amoureux House in Ste. Genevieve are being developed by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. The work will address several key areas, assuring the continued preservation of this important French-colonial structure. It is hoped that construction work can commence in the new year.

A second legacy also commemorates Les Amis' Tenth Anniversary. Noted scholars Carl Ekberg and Anton Pregaldin are writing a self-guided tour pamphlet for visitation of the historic Creole Corridor on both sides of the Mississippi River. During the Three Flags Festival on March 12, two busloads of visitors from across the nation toured this route from Cahokia to Chester, Ill. and from Ste. Genevieve to St. Louis, Mo. This tour will repeat for Les Amis members and guests on Saturday, June 19, with Margaret Brown of Prairie du Rocher again serving as a scholar-guide.

The pamphlet will be distributed by visitors centers, historic sites and parks throughout the bi-state region. The pamphlet will provide the public with specific information that would guide them successfully to the remarkable treasures found along this cooridor: the Cahokia Courthouse and Holy Family Church, Fort de Chartres, the Pierre Menard House and Fort Kaskaskia State Park, in addition to the various historic sites in Ste.Genevieve.

"Producing the Louisana Purchase Bicentennial Commemoration demonstrated how much we can accomplish when we work together as a region," stated Elizabeth Gentry Sayad who co-chaired the Three Flags Festival with Chancellor Emeritus Blanche Touhill of the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Mrs. Sayad also chaired the Ball Committee. "By linking all the remarkable sites of this region we can stimulate a large market for cultural tourism with St. Louis as the Gateway to the Corridor." Les Amis came into being in the spring of 1994 following the Great Flood of '93. Funds raised by the French Heritage Relief Committee ennabled the purchase of the threatened Amoureux House which was given to Missouri's Department of Natural Resources. A condition for accepting the gift was the mandate that an ongoing support group for the Department's historic French properties be formed. Mrs. Sayad was the founding president and now serves as Chairman Emeritus. Read more…