Mo. first ladies start campaign to restore Governor's Mansion

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Missouri's past and present first ladies are launching a fundraising effort to refurbish the Governor's Mansion.

First lady Melanie Blunt was joined Monday by former first ladies Lori Holden and Betty Hearnes, of Charleston, Mo., in announcing a capital campaign for Missouri Mansion Preservation Inc.

The goal is to raise $3 million in private donations for the not-for-profit group to restore the interior of the mansion. It will be the 1871 mansion's largest capital campaign.

Last week, Gov. Matt Blunt signed a bill approving $3 million of state spending for structural repairs. That's going toward such things as the roof, windows, floors and heating and cooling systems.

Melanie Blunt said the first ladies will host a luncheon June 25 to focus on fundraising for other refurbishments. Besides those at Monday's news conference, the luncheon also is to include former first ladies Carolyn Bond, Theresa Teasdale, Jean Carnahan and Pat Wilson.

As the current occupant of the home, Melanie Blunt said it's been a privilege to live there, but added: "In many rooms, the carpet, window treatments and upholstery that are more than 20 years old are fraying and literally falling apart."

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