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Grans to Grans: A sincere and heartfelt million thank you’s to the town of Nelson

There are so many good reasons to live in Nelson, and most of us are grateful that we’re able to be here.

Here’s a good reason why.

Recently, the Nelson Grans to Grans held their sixth annual African Dinner at the United Church. The experience brought together people interested in raising awareness and raising funds for the grassroots organizations that are fighting the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa.

We in the Nelson Grans to Grans often say, "We will not rest till they rest." That heartfelt statement resonated not only through our ranks but also throughout the community. We got tremendous help and support in the form of food donations, and in wonderful and varied silent auction donations. We also had a lot of support in selling tickets and publicizing the event.

We’d like to extend a sincere thanks to the following Nelson Businesses: "Cottons" on Baker, "Sensations" Dress Shop, Oso Negro, Save on Foods, Silver King Tofu, Ausoleil Levant Bakery and Kootenay Cooperative. Your help and generosity is much appreciated.

And, of course, we’d like to thank individuals like Clementine Segbeayia and Tam Mickel who brought generous donations of African foods already prepared. Bessie Wapp provided her talent and wonderful voice to bring the warmth of song and music to the hall.

Francine Laliberté planned our menu and baked our pastries in spite of a very serious family illness. Two young people Taavi Wickman and Courtney Shrieves, were very courteous and helpful at the event.

The Nelson Grandkids, with the generous assistance of  Jessica Eliot, made and sold items to help the African Grandkids – and brought wonderful joy and energy to the gathering.

Perhaps, Stephen Lewis said it best in a letter he wrote recently. He said, “I cannot yank my mind away from the accelerating truth that in many parts of Africa, life at community level is getting worse, not better. The resources from the Global Fund and the American Presidential Initiative (PEPFAR) are stagnating, even depleting. The grandmothers struggling with AIDS need us more than ever. Raising funds becomes more important than ever."

It seems to me that the people of Nelson responded to this need with an overwhelming sense of kindness and generosity. They came together to express their highest global ideals and gave real meaning to the idea of global citizenship. Love, compassion and enthusiasm were everywhere evident.

To Nelson a sincere and heartfelt million thank you’s; it is indeed a privilege to live here and to share in creating our sense of community.

In the Light, Hoda