Portrait of a Franco-American Friendship
French Heritage Society is pleased to count John and Kazie Harvey among its generous supporters over the past several years. As members of the Chairman's Circle they have participated in numerous trips in France including the recent 30th Anniversary Celebration at the Royal level. The Harveys regularly attend the New York Gala and other events. Kazie joined the association's Board this spring and sits on the Finance Committee.
The Harveys' generosity and hospitality also extend to students from French Heritage Society's Educational Program, as they welcomed Ana Beltran, from the Ecole du Louvre, this fall at their New York apartment during her internship at the New York Public Library and New York Historical Society. Their hospitality is also kindly extended to French Heritage Society Paris staff when traveling to New York for business.
John and Kazie's interest and support for French Heritage Society was the outgrowth of a personal friendship that has marked their lives as well as that of their French friends, M. and Mme. Jean-Hubert Thibault de Beauregard and their family. Karen Archer recently spoke to Kazie about the evolution of that friendship, her involvement with French Heritage Society, and future projects.
Kazie casually explains that her relationship to France and the French has taken a turn that she could never have imagined and enriched her and John's lives and that of their entire family. She did study some French in college but had no particular background. She traveled to France the summer after her freshman year, and then went on with her life for the next twenty years, marrying and starting a family.
"Later, my two daughters took French in elementary school and did quite well. Kitty, the oldest, went to summer camps in France for two-week home says with the Beauregard family. This led to a close friendship between our two families, with visits back and forth between France and the US, the children from both families frequently visiting each other." Kazie gauges the time that has passed, "Kitty was 13 at the time and is now 31."
"Then the Beauregards undertook the project of restoring a fortified farm south of Lyon – where not many of these structures remain, it seemed like a daunting project. We wanted to help with the project as we witnessed the devotion and long-term commitment to its restoration by the Beauregards. It was really amazing." During the restoration work, it was M. Thibault de Beauregard who contacted Isabelle de Laroullière at French Heritage Society about the project. That was the Harveys initial introduction to the association that they have since come to so generously support in a variety of ways.
The Beauregards' project at Les Breux ended up spanning ten years, with three successive grants from French Heritage Society with the substantial support of the Harveys. "Located an hour and a half from Lyon, the outbuilding, barn and chapel have been saved, remnants of a rural building-style which otherwise would have disappeared", Kazie notes. "Our children have been able to follow the progress of the work as they grew up, and watched the property becoming livable, even spending holidays there and deepening their own friendships with the Beauregard children."
That friendship was also shared at French Heritage Society's recent Gala at the Château de Fontainebleau. The Harveys were joined by their guests at the King's Table, their good friends the Beauregards, their children and their spouses and other French friends from the Society of the Cincinnati, another cause they support.
The many facets of the Harveys' support for French Heritage Society continue to include restoration projects. They have given their support to one of the 30th Anniversary Grants, the Château de Lacour d'Arcenay with a grant of $10,000. Always appreciative of personal contact and getting to know the people behind the project, Kazie and John, along with Isabelle de Laroullière, visited Lacour d'Arcenay and met with members of the de Thy family, following the 30th Anniversary Celebration last October.
"We dined with the family, the second generation involved in the restoration of the château, who were gracious and appreciative of our support." Kazie points out that "like the Les Breux project, Lacour d'Arcenay represents a family's personal effort to save an important architectural monument in the region." Their visit gave them a better understanding of both the project and the family. "It was quite lovely, both John and I really liked them a lot. Their English was good and they were very welcoming. We look forward to seeing them again and following the evolution of their project", Kazie concludes. From experience, she knows what an adventure that can be.