Monday, May 10, 2010

Grandmothers' Necklace - Belec

The Omas Siskonas provided refreshments for book launch attendees.

Perhaps the numbers were not as high as initially anticipated. Perhaps it would have been nice if the press had made it. Perhaps if Amanda, my daughter did not have a prior committment then she could have been there manning the video camera then there would be a better technological memory.
But the book launch for Grandmothers' Necklace has come and gone and I do believe it was a good day and a worthwhile event for the cause.
All proceeds from Grandmothers' Necklace go to help grandmothers in sub-Saharan Africa raise their grandchildren. They are dedicated to doing this because their own children have died from HIV/AIDS related conditions. I cannot imagine how difficult that would be - mourning the death of my own children and then handling all the responsibilities of making sure my grandchildren have enough to eat, clothes on their back and more.

The Stephen Lewis Foundation (SLF) is the name behind this amazing organization. As part of the Grandmothers to Grandmothers campaign, members do their utmost to find ways to raise funds and bring awareness to the quietly courageous grandmothers who are going it alone.

Before Patricia Ann Elford, editor and compiler of the Grandmothers' Necklace anthology, made the callout for submissions, I have to shamefacedly admit that I had never heard of this organization. I quickly started to read and research and came to the conclusion that the need is great and the support is necessary. I am honoured to be even a little part of the SLF and helping our sisters in Africa.

On May 1st, at our launch about 30 people dropped by to listen to the readings, purchase books, chat to the authors and visit the Omas Siskonas. The Omas Siskonas, pictured above in their lovely teeshirts, are an amazing group of grandmothers and 'grand-others' who want to do their part to help. Again, I was not even aware that such groups exist. Apparently they are well and thriving across the country and their presence is welcome at such events as we held last week. These grinning gals provided a wonderful array of sustenance for our book launch guests and were most gracious as they shared.
Our display banner for Grandmothers' Necklace

Carolyn Wilker, our chief organizer and planner for the day, did a great job of pulling things together and delegating tasks. Ruth Smith Meyer, another Word Guild member helped make the afternoon one to remember.
I think in the end we sold over 30 books for the cause. Unfortunately, Patricia Elford was unable to attend, but we hope we made her proud of our efforts and that she found the results favourable. I know I learned plenty and enjoyed every minute of the day.

A great day was had by all! Carolyn did most of the work. I was merely a happy helper and a ready reader! Carolyn Wilker is the little gal in the middle. Theodore Oisin, is the lovely blonde on the right and yours truly is pictured left, trying not to show too many teeth.


Peter Black said...

A fine reflection of the Grandmothers' Necklace launch, Glynis -- great pictures too.
And my, it's lovely seeing you with your wonderful head of curls!

Donna Mann said...

Hi Glynis - as grandmothers we too know how precious little ones are. Good on you! You look so happy doing your thing. BTW, I'm speaking at a similar group in Holstein in a few weeks. I'll pass on your blog with your permission.

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