Needed: $20,000

By | August 12, 2010

If you travel north along Wisconsin’s old Door County Highway 57 (now County DK) heading toward Sturgeon Bay, you will encounter a small, red brick church in Namur, near Brussels. A group of headstones nestle together nearby.

Our Lady of the Snows Church has been around for over 120 years. But it has been closed since 2001 and its days are numbered unless the Namur Belgian Heritage Foundation can raise $20,000 towards its repair by Tuesday, Aug. 17.

The church is part of the Namur National Landmark Historic District, but it needs about $75,000 in repairs. The building is owned by St. Mary and St. Francis Parish in Brussels, which simply cannot afford to maintain the building. 

The parish has offered to sell the building to the Heritage Foundation for $1 if the foundation can provide a financial plan to repair and maintain the building. That’s where the $20,000 and the Aug. 17 deadline come in.

An open house was held at the church on Aug. 7 and attracted supporters and curious tourists. On Friday, Aug. 6, foundation chairman Bill Chaudoir announced that the Raibrook Foundation, a Sturgeon Bay charity has offered to match some of the funds raised.

“We’re making good progress,” said Chaudoir on Aug. 12 about the fund-raising effort, adding that, even if the short-term goal is reached on time, the long range plans are to have $100,000 raised over the next couple of years for upkeep, maintenance and programming.

For more information about efforts to purchase the Namur church, contact Bill Chaudoir at (920) 743-8381 or Allen Alexander, secretary, at (920) 825-1328.

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