Jim Wright waves to the crowd from his 1954 Ford fire chief car during Homewood's 2018 4th of July parade. He was active in the A’s R Us vintage auto club and was a regular participant in local parades and festivals. (Chronicle file photo)
Business, Local News

Wright bequest to benefit Homewood re-forestration

Homewood has received a second bequest from the late Jim Wright, who died in March. The first was the donation of his vintage fire chief’s car in July, and at the Board of Trustees meeting Sept. 12, Mayor Rich Hofeld announced a second gift.

Hofeld said he had received a letter that afternoon from Wright’s brother, Richard Wright, on behalf of his estate. He read an excerpt of the letter.

Jim Wright in 2017.

“James loved the Village of Homewood,” Hofeld read. “Being the kind, compassionate and generous man he was, it was James’ wish that after his passing, a portion of the proceeds from his real estate holdings be donated to the village. Please accept this check in memory of Jim for $30,000.

“I know you more than anyone else would know how James would like it to be used. You know he’ll be watching.”

Wright was known for his contributions as a local historian and leader of the Homewood Historical Society, a firefighter and advocate for the Homewood Fire Department. He served on the Board of Trustees and most recently chaired the Appearance Commission.

But Hofeld said the bequest would be used to benefit another of Wright’s passions.

“Jim’s love was reforestation and trees,” Hofeld said.

He said Wright anonymously had donated more than $25,000 in recent years to help purchase trees for the village.

“This check will be used for reforestation in the village of Homewood,” Hofeld said. “Jim, I know you’re watching.”

Hofeld said the check had been submitted to the village Finance Department.

Meet the Merchants
The meeting agenda also included a section called Meet the Merchants. Hofeld explained that the board at one time invited local businesspeople to present information about their businesses at board meetings and the practice was being resurrected.

The first business to be featured was AJ Blooms Floral Boutique, 18855 Dixie Highway.

Hofeld introduced owners Alecia and Jonathan Pierre and their daughter, Julia. The couple’s son, Ayden, was not able to attend.

Jonathan introduced the business, which he said opened earlier this year. The village held a ribbon cutting ceremony on Aug. 19 to celebrate the business opening. 

He said he and Alecia met at Columbia College, where both were studying music. He majored in music composition and she focused on jazz vocals. She has 20 years experience as a floral designer, and her musical interests inform her floral work.

“You get a really unique statement with your flowers when you come to our store,” he said.
They plan to offer educational opportunities eventually, including plant care and flower arranging workshops.

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