When I was a little girl my sister and I had a large trunk full of dress-up clothes. It wasn’t as colourful as the “tickle trunk” on Mr. Dressup (in fact it looked more like a pirate’s chest) but it was every bit as magical.
My mother had filled it with old hats, gloves, purses and dresses. While part of me wishes she’d held on to them until we were adults, I’m grateful she never had that good sense. Despite the fact that over the years these beautiful vintage pieces became worn, torn, stained or lost, what remains with me is a heightened sense of girlish pleasure every time I’m given the opportunity to dress up.Fortunately, I get that opportunity every May. Six years ago my husband and I were invited to a fundraiser. It was a dinner and auction with 100% of the money raised going directly to help with building projects and medical services for the people of Haiti. The theme was the “Hollywood Academy Awards”.
We went the following year (1920’s Speakeasy), and the next year (Olympics –I was a Greek goddess). After that, I began volunteering on the fundraiser and each year I seek out local donations (which are always very generous) and work with a talented team to put together auction packages for the fundraiser.
This year the theme is ‘Under the Big Top’ and I can’t wait to dress up as a lion. A girl lion of course –but with a lion’s mane.Of course, as much fun as it is to dress up, the greatest enjoyment I get is from knowing how much the money raised is going to help people. Proceeds from this year’s event will support a local Haitian doctor and two Haitian nurses at a recently built, free standing medical clinic in Grand Guave and will provide free medication as well as HIV on-site testing and supportive treatment for local Haitans.
The event is open to everyone if you want to attend, but tickets are going fast! In the meantime, check out this fascinating site chronicling the October/November 2012 trip of local volunteers to Haiti.
Last September Miss Emily the cat came to life with the launch of Miss Emily Goes to Bat.In honour of her first birthday we wanted to give you a chance to win a copy of the Miss Emily book. But first, we wanted to share an overview of Miss Em’s first year as minor local celebrity and philanthropic cat. Miss Emily began her first year raising money for the Kootenay Child Development Centre, new home to a number of child practitioners and specialists dedicated to servicing children in the East and West Kootenay area of BC.
To raise money, Miss Emily’s book was the focus of several book readings at libraries, bookstores and schools across the East Kootenay. 20% of Miss Em’s retail sales went to the Centre.In the end, Miss Emily raised over $300.00. She also donated a couple of signed prints that hang in the Centre’s lobby, enabling Miss Emily and her lovable owners, Will and Thom, to personally greet the young children who use the Centre.Miss Emily has also made a bit of a name for herself outside her hometown area. Last spring she received an A+ review from American on-line book reviewer, Lit Kid Reviews. You’ll also find Miss Emily hanging out at the McMaster Children’s Hospital in Hamilton, Ontario, as part of the Jackson’s Make a Memory book collection.Of course Miss Emily will always be dedicated to the betterment of children so watch for new fundraisers, donations and contests throughout the coming year. And be sure to check out her numerous colouring and activity pages, games and crafts. Just click on fun for kids on the menu bar above –and watch for information on our FIRST CONTEST in this Wednesday’s post!And for those of you who aren’t familiar with the story, Miss Emily Goes to Bat, be sure to check out the Kid Lit Review or read the summary, below. ~ Trina
On June 15th the Kootenay Child Development Center held it’s grand opening! Although I didn’t get the chance to be there in person I was there supporting it in spirit. I totally believe this place is an indispensable addition to the East Kootenays – it is going to be a such blessing to families and children around the region. If you don’t know much about the benefits of this center please DO check out this link to read more >>> KCDC Project Details.
‘Unspeakable Joy’ – 18″ x 24″ – acrylic on canvas. Please click on image to see enlarged version.
My partner, Trina, did attend the grand opening with her son, Thom. She admitted that Thom had so much fun eating goodies, playing in the bouncy tent and doing projects at the craft table that they were actually some of the last people to leave – ha ha! Trina also told me that approximately 50 folks (in her estimate) attended the opening including Cranbrook’s mayor, Wayne Stetski, the Cranbrook city council members, Sharon Cross and Diana J. Scott. When I asked Trina what she thought about everything afterwards she said, “It was amazing to actually see this center come to fruition as I have been watching these dedicated women work so hard for the last few years.”
The women that Trina is referring to are Patricia Whalen, Gail Brown and Gwen Noble. Although I’m sure many folks were involved in making this center a reality I understand that these women have been the front runners. (Great job ladies!!! )
So you still might be wondering where exactly do I come into all this and what does my newest painting have to do with it? Well, Gail Brown is actually retiring soon and as a memento of all her efforts and dedication I was commissioned to do a painting in her honour that will hang in the center. The painting is titled, ‘Unspeakable Joy’ and it was presented to Gail at the opening. It was a serious privilege to do this piece and my heart is that it reflects the untainted joy that we see daily in our children.
You can check out more of my paintings at my other blog – MISH MASH,