IN THE CROWD: Chelster Hall Community Festival

The grandeur of his home is not lost on Hugo Powell.

“We always had in mind that in every community there needs to be anchor properties, anchor activities. It can be institutions, it can be houses, but a community, if it's all the same, is kind of blah ““ why would you want to be there?” says Powell. “When we did this [built Chelster Hall], our idea was that it would always be a part of the community in a special way.”

And he couldn't be more right.

With the gates drawn and the doors to the impressive estate opened, the grounds of Chelster Hall were bustling this past Saturday with the sounds of a community come together for a unique cause: The Chelster Hall Community Festival.

A breathtaking view of Lake Ontario was lessened only by the awe-inspiring luxury of the home itself. White tents dotted the grounds housing food and drink from a variety of local establishments while the strings of The Oakville Chamber Orchestra played in the background as guests mingled and bid on luxury raffle items to further the nights proceeds.

“The night has been spectacular, it's for many good causes and that's wonderful,” says interior designer Ramsin Khachi. “I find that the longer I live in Oakville the more I want to be involved in supporting the community so I love attending these events. Just being here and being a part of it and supporting it, is what I think everybody should be doing in the community.”

According to Powell the choice of local beneficiaries is what really made this event a local community festival. “Local people doing things for local institutions that could use the fundraising. My sense is people like that,” says Powell. “If Oakville can keep building as a community”¦ It's not all the way to being the best, but it has the potential. It's a magical place.”

Proceeds from the evening went to St. Mildred's Lightbourn Academy, The Oakville Hospital, The Oakville Public Library, The Oakville Chamber Orchestra and The Oakville & Milton Humane Society.

“I think it's great for Hugo and Tracy to open up their home for a fundraiser like this,” says HGTV's Bryan Baeumler. “They are huge supporters of the community and good friends. It's amazing.”

A charitable evening from a charitable family, The Chelster Hall Community Festival will be a fond memory within the community for years to come.

“This is not really a new idea, we always saw [Chelster Hall] as playing a roll in the community,” says Powell. “In my mind, the essence of a good community is that it's got a balance between normal things in life and outstanding things in life that attract people to want to be there.”