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Grannies Christmas extravaganza

One-of-a-kind items will be on display and for sale at holiday event
Cathryn Bolton shows some of the of one-of-a-kind

Some unique Christmas gifts will be on sale next weekend and all purchases will help support those who have been effected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa.

The Oceanside Grandmothers 2 Grandmothers are hosting their annual Christmas extravaganza November 25 and 26. The event is their most successful fundraiser of the year with proceeds going to the Stephen Lewis Foundation (SLF).

The SLF supports community-level organizations that are turning the tide of HIV/AIDS in Africa by providing care and support to women, orphans, grandmothers and people living with the deadly disease.  The AIDS epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa continues to devastate communities and since the beginning of the epidemic 14.8 million children have lost one or both parents to HIV/AIDS.

Cathryn Bolton said since 2006 their local group of about 100 volunteers has already donated $164,000 to the foundation.

“Our group has been very successful due to the generosity of our warm-hearted community. People look forward to this event every year and some items do sell out,” she admitted.

She stated they will have their usual array of unique arts and crafts including their precious African angels and popular granny bags.

The one-of-a-kind, hand-made cloth bags became an instant hit when they were introduced four years ago and a group of 10 “bag-ladies” have been sewing up a storm creating the custom made bags for this year’s fundraiser.

“They have been our biggest seller.  They are made with fabric that depicts Africa and have lovely embellishments.  When I travel with mine people stop me and ask me where did you get that bag?”

She said their African angels are also cherished. Each one is hand-made and named after an African child who has died of AIDS.

In case you don’t have your “fascinator” yet for the next Royal wedding, they too will be available.

Bolton said there are about 100 crafty members in the group who have been busy preparing for the sale. There will be Christmas wreaths and decorations as well as delicious home-baking including Christmas cake, fudge and shortbread for sale.

The event which includes refreshments and live entertainment has moved to the Quality Resort Bayside this year at 240 Dogwood St., Parksville. It runs Fri., Nov. 25 from 4 to 8 p.m. and Saturday Nov. 26 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A choir known as “Harmony in the Key of West Coast,” will be on hand throughout the event performing Christmas favourites.


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