April 1, 2016
I wish Stephen were here. He’d know all the right words to write and how to convey this message in the most eloquent way…with just the right amount of emotion. But he’s not here looking over my shoulder, so I’m going it alone and hoping the message comes across the way it is intended to.
After ten years of involvement in the successful evolution and extraordinary effort of the Oceanside Grandmothers group, I believe it is the appropriate time to relinquish my volunteer role as Co-coordinator, effective April 30, 2016. I will also be stepping away from the Publicity Team to begin a year-long sabbatical. Morganne Pickering has kindly agreed to share her considerable abilities and will assume my responsibilities with the Team.
I want you to know that I have been considering and weighing the factors underlying this decision for a considerable period of time and finally initiated a conversation with Carol about my intent almost a year ago. It’s not easy when you have been privileged, as I have, to work with a truly amazing group of women who are committed, as I am, to the just goals of the Stephen Lewis Foundation and the Grandmothers Campaign. More than that, many of you have become very special friends. As Carol and I agreed all those years ago, after hearing Stephen Lewis speak about his goal to help those battling HIV and AIDS at the grassroots level in Africa….’we can’t NOT do something about this. We can do it, even if there’s just the two of us!’
Fortunately, there have been so many of you sharing in this effort with us. I can’t begin to express my sincere and heartfelt ‘thank you’ for the creative ideas, work ethic, support and encouragement that you have offered to me for such a long time. I would especially like to thank those of you who have taken on additional responsibilities to lead committees, ongoing projects and events. My hope is that I have conveyed my admiration and appreciation fully and adequately to each and all of you over the years.
It has been such a privilege to witness and participate in a group that has not only grown, but flourished. The Oceanside Grandmothers have demonstrated themselves to be a credible collective of creative, hard-working women guided by a just cause. In return, we enjoy the respect, trust and support of both the lay and business communities in Oceanside. The rewards are many and significant, tangible and intangible…a phenomenal success with fundraising for the Grandmothers Campaign; cooperation throughout the community; life-enhancing companionship, fun and laughter; a sense of purpose, belonging and pride. May it continue to be so for many, many years to come.