Everyone welcome to Newtown garden fundraiser

November 25, 2021 BY

Jennifer Kloester standing in front of her garden's courtyard which will be available for the public to peruse this Sunday. Photos: VINNIE VAN OORSCHOT

THE courtyard at the rear of a Newtown residence will offer itself as an Open Garden this Sunday in the hope of raising $10,000 to go towards the Andrew Love Cancer Centre in Geelong.

The property at 57 Austin Street, Newtown will open its doors in partnership with the Barwon Health Foundation for a nature-filled day of perusing in author Jennifer Kloester’s garden.

Flowers of all colours line the garden.

The residence is often referred to as “The Old Manse” because of the fact it used to be the former residence of a local church minister and features a wide array of flora from flowers to shrubs.

Ms Kloester, who herself was diagnosed with cancer in 2013 and beat the disease early on, bought the newly refurbished Newtown residence back in 1993 and will coordinate this year’s fundraiser for a second time.

The residence’s “Garden Room” provides an intimate setting for visitors.

The first Open Garden Fundraiser held in 2017 was considered a “small affair” according to Ms Kloester with only neighbours, close friends, and families in attendance.

The event four years ago raised $3,500, but this year’s fundraiser holds bigger aspirations with all funds to be directed towards an institution close to Ms Kloester’s heart.

“I have a number of friends who have been through the Andrew Love Centre, and all are doing well thank goodness,” Ms Kloester said.

“But I think everyone in the Geelong and Surf Coast region knows of the Andrew Love Centre because they either know someone who has been in there or have been there themselves.

“The treatment there is exceptionally good, it’s a really fantastic institute, everyone talks about how caring they are, and I think it’s so important to give back as much as you can.”

A view of the courtyard from 57 Austin Street’s balcony extension with the rest of Newtown in the background.

Barwon Health Foundation executive director Zoe Waters said the foundation was thrilled to have the support of this amazing community event.

“It is so great to see the community start to hold events again and support the services of Barwon Health,” Ms Waters said.

“We are so grateful to Jen, her friends Rose and Cynthia for their efforts in supporting the Andrew Love Cancer Centre.”

Many flowers will be on display this Sunday including Ms Kloester’s Gallipoli Roses, which were especially grown for the 100th anniversary of the ANZAC’s beach landing.

The garden will open this Sunday at 9am and will remain open to the public until 4pm.

To enter the garden is $10 per person with children under 12 years of age allowed to enter for free.

There will also be a silent auction, a garden calendar, vases and plants up for sale with every cent donated going directly to the Andrew Love Cancer Centre.

To get a sneak peek of Ms Kloester’s garden head to @opengardenattheoldmanse on Instagram.

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