Yearend Social Lunch
Time for us — just our group! Oceanside Grandmothers had turkey lunch together at the Legion Hall in Parksville. Paxie of the regional Grandmothers network presented a slideshow of her trip to Ethiopia, Rwanda, and South Africa as a representative of the Grandmothers Campaign. Then we moved into pure entertainment, with Second Wind, a fine sax trio, playing Christmas songs and other familiar favourites.
Christmas Extravaganza, November 28-29, 2014
Again this year the Extravaganza was a terrific success. Our members contributed generously with their time and skills, so that the tables were heaped high with crafts, sewing, jams and jellies, books and baking — as well as handiwork donated by our supporters — as the doors opened at 1pm Friday November 28. A team of grandmothers hosted, helped, and handled cash 1-7 on Friday and 10-4 on Saturday. By the end, we had scarcely anything left to sell. We took in $24,684.20 — a significant amount to pass on to the Stephen Lewis Foundation for grassroots work in subSaharan Africa.
Below, the 2 slideshows give just a glimpse of the event. The first features a few of the many products we gathered together to sell. The second one shows a few of our many members at work.
Many more grandmothers helped out than pictured here — a small army of women working together.
50th Anniversary Congratulations, August 17
Who better to cater a 50th wedding anniversary than Oceanside Grandmothers? So thought Mary Jane Gagan, one of our own group, and asked us to cater her anniversary party — as a fundraiser for g2g! She celebrated a 50 year marriage and at the same time we all passed on some of the love to grandmothers in Africa working with the Stephen Lewis Foundation to raise their grandchildren with safety, health, and education.
St Mark’s Fair, July 26
A Tag-along Market
Where is the market? Well, often it springs up when an occasion presents itself! For instance, what is Carol Lundine going to do while her husband Dan is speaking about his book to the audience in the small Saskatchewan town where that book is set? While he recalls his life as an RCMP officer, she gets out the tote bags and the angels — and raises $215 more for Oceanside g2g.
(by Carol Lundine) The evening was a huge success. The sisters Rosemary Thompson and Virginia Thompson, one a journalist and the other a producer, spoke to a packed audience on May 15 about their lives on “both sides of the camera”. They were interviewed further by their cousin Shelagh Rogers, a well known journalist, who added her own thoughts to an evening giving insights into working in media in Canada. .
“Witty”, “charming”, “warm” and “engaging” were just a few of the words spoken by the audience as they exited. The women had captivated them with stories about their childhood in Montreal, reporting amidst the chaos of 9/11, the connectedness with family, the parents/aunt and uncle, and the struggles for producer Virginia in “getting a job”! (WIth the announcement of Corner Gas the movie we know she has employment for the near future.) With heartfelt thanks we wish them happiness and every success in their future pursuits. Bottle Drive, April 12
(by Lorna Reid) The parking lot at Parksville Return-It Depot was the site of an astonishing scene on Saturday April 12. It was the Grannies’ Bottle Drive that day and by late morning the volunteers who were sorting refundable containers were being dwarfed by big pickup trucks and SUVs arriving being unloaded and then leaving again to bring yet more. They kept coming and by early afternoon the sorting area was surrounded by boxes and bags of every description piled up in heaps! Thanks to the hard work of all our volunteers (some over 80) and the helpful staff, the bags were empty and the contents sorted and counted by 4 pm. The teams who distributed flyers in designated areas and then picked up containers did a wonderful job. We were also delighted note a great response from the general public to our advertisements. All in all it was very successful – we are still awaiting some containers promised to us but it is safe to say that we have made about $2,300 – a great result for our first Bottle Drive! Refresh, Re-energize, Respond. March 12
With so much group energy going to fundraisers and outward-looking events, this reflective afternoon on March 12 stands out as different: we organized it only for ourselves and for friends we’d invited, and gave our thoughts wholly to what we’re all about. Its goal was to refresh our sense of purpose and bring our members together around our common cause.
In the theatre of Knox United Church hall, several of our g2g members took the stage – to renew our awareness of the background of the Grandmothers Campaign, and to touch our hearts with the stories of particular grandmothers from subSaharan Africa. In spite of immense obstacles – such as discrimination against older women on the basis of age, sex, and HIV status — they have stepped forward to care for their orphaned grandchildren and save their communities as family networks of support have broken down around them. The program also featured video clips of the activities of the Stephen Lewis Foundation and small group conversations on thoughts stirred by the presentation. It closed with a slideshow highlighting our own activities in Oceanside as we respond to need. The Grandmothers Tribunal in Vancouver in September provided much of the material forthe afternoon, including the grandmothers’ Call to Action:
“It is time to recognize that grandmothers at the forefront of the HIV and AIDS crisis must have our human rights respected and protected. We will not let the AIDS pandemic defeat us nor destroy our communities, but we cannot prevail alone. Africa cannot survive without us. We call on you to act with urgency and purpose.”
Our group benefits tremendously from new members. They bring their willing hands to join the team and new angles on what we do. It’s only been in recent months, though, that Oceanside Grandmothers has initiated coffee parties to welcome new members. In meetings, they can certainly get a good sense of our projects and energies. But in small coffee parties, new members have a better chance to see where they might fit into Oceanside Grandmothers and longtime members have a chance to get to know them. On an icy, sparkling morning in early February, several longtime Grandmothers met with 5 new members at Ferne’s home in Parksville. I’d venture to say that we all left with a boost to our energy and the pleasure of having met some very fine teammates!