Turning famous ties into help for Africa

Parksville-Bid on a tie from celebrities like Don Cherry, David Suzuki and George Stroumboulopoulos.



Bid on a tie from celebrities like Don Cherry, David Suzuki and George Stroumboulopoulos, which have been turned into an evening bag, and you’ll be helping those affected with HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa.

It’s a project of the Oceanside Grandmothers to Grandmothers (G2G) where people can bid online for the ties and then attend a Closing Bid Reception to see how it all turns out. The local ladies said they weren’t sure how successful it would be when they started sending out letters to the celebrities.

“I had no idea when I sent the letters out if I’d get two or 20,” said G2G member Diane Tobin, who made all of the bags. In the end, 32 donors responded sending ties, many of them signed, as well as some other items.

To bid on the ties and bags, go to www.oceansideg2g.charitybids.org.

Tobin upcycled the ties into 24 evening bags and 15 of them were simply not fit for a bag, she said.

“The intent was to get the ties and then sew them all into evening bags and the first tie I received was from George (Stroumboulopoulos) and it was a very expensive, long and narrow tie, and I went, it’ll never happen!” she laughed.

He also signed the back with “You are so lovely” and his very long name, so Tobin and the other Grandmothers thought it would be better off leaving it as a tie. Some others were signed or had messages so they left those ones unaltered as well.

Tobin said she sent a letter to David Chilton, from CBC’s The Dragon’s Den, before watching him on an episode of the show.

“I sent the letter out and then I sat down to watch The Dragon’s Den and he doesn’t wear a tie!” she laughed.

Tobin received an e-mail a couple days later from Chilton confirming he doesn’t wear ties, but that he’d send a signed copy of his best seller, The Wealthy Barber. That will go in a silent auction at the Closing Bid Reception on April 25 at the McMillan Arts Centre in Parksville.

Other celebrity donors include Robert Bateman, Paul Martin, Stephen Lewis, Peter Manbridge, Howie Meeker and Justin Trudeau.

The Oceanside G2G is one of 240 groups of Canadian Grandmothers that are focused on raising awareness of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa. The funds support the Stephen Lewis Foundation, which puts 90 per cent of the money raised into communities and front-line organizations engaged in meeting the needs of women, orphans and those living with the disease.

RSVP to attend the Closing Bid Reception happening April 25 from 7-9 p.m. at the McMillan Arts Centre by calling 250-752-1962. The silent auction, including a Don Cherry tie, a Peter Mansbridge evening bag, and a tie and CD from Dal Richards, will happen from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. The free reception will have desserts, tea, coffee and punch. There will be computers set up to make some closing bids, but people are encouraged to bring their own devices.

Visit their Facebook Page: Oceanside Grandmothers to Grandmothers, for more information.