by Karly Blatz on Nov 12th in Parksvolle Qualicum Beach News
Crafts, baked goods, knitting and many more homemade treasures available at fundraiser
The Oceanside Grandmothers to Grandmothers are gearing up for their biggest fundraiser of the year — the 11th annual Christmas Extravaganza. The annual event runs Friday, Nov. 23 and Saturday, Nov. 24 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day at the Quality Resort Bayside (240 Dogwood St., Parksville).
The Extravaganza offers an abundance of homemade goods from baking to knitting to African Aids Angels, that are each named for an African child who has died of the Aids virus.
Organizer Ann Tardiff said they are very fortunate this year to have received donations of African goods including aprons, bags and stuffed animals for the fundraiser.
Oceanside Grandmothers to Grandmothers is one of 240 groups across Canada that contributes through the Stephen Lewis Foundation to community-based organizations helping to counter the impact of HIV/AIDS in 15 sub-Saharan African countries.
Today, the Oceanside Grandmothers to Grandmothers has about 140 members, who meet several times a year for planning sessions.
Beginning small, Tardiff said she hosted the first Christmas Extravaganza in her home.
“When I joined the Grandmothers to Grandmothers, one of the mandates is whoever has an idea on fundraising, as long as it’s viable, you can run with it,” Tardiff said. “I like to do baking and I also paint and I have a big circle of friends so I thought I’d have a little event right here in my own home before Christmas.”
Tardiff said she raised $1,000 that first year and since there was such a large turnout, a friend offered to use her larger house for the next year’s event.
“Then more grandmothers got on board and everybody started making things and it just sort of ballooned from there,” Tardiff said. “We out grew the house and then we moved into the Quality Bayside Resort.”
Today close to 700 people visit the fundraiser each day and typically $20,000 is raised from the event. Through 10 years of work, the Oceanside Grandmothers to Grandmothers have raised about $450,000 to support grandmothers in Africa.