by Marnie Bruce
Mix a three-day bike ride by the Grassroot Grannies with a delicious lunch provided by the Mississippi Grannies and you have only one of the many examples of Canadian grandmothers working together to support the many initiatives and projects of the Stephen Lewis Foundation.
The Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign was begun in 2006. The goal is to raise funds for projects in Subsaharan Africa which assist grandmothers to care for the millions of children left alone and uncared for due to the death of their parents from HIV/Aids. The 240 grandmother groups in Canada sponsor concerts, sell greeting and Christmas cards, hold bake and plant sales and undertake many other activities.
The three-day bike ride began on Wednesday, September 7th. There were 21 cyclists and 4 support members for the trip. Starting in Kanata the Grassroot Grannies biked through Ashton, Appleton and Almonte. At noon, our local Missippi Grannies welcomed them at St. Paul's Anglican Church with a delicious lunch of cheeses, meats, salads, biscuits and fruit. After the meal and the sharing of friendship and ideas the cyclists were on their way to Perth where they are being hosted by the Lanark Grannies, having now travelled 95 kms.
Day two takes the cyclists 116 kms. through Merrickville and Metcalfe where they will have dinner and be billeted for the night arranged by the Metcalfe Grannies all About Kids.
On Day three the still energetic Grassroot Grannies will cycle 55 kms.back to Kanata where there will be a Welcome Home Reception at the Bushtukah store which provided bright yellow vests for the participants with convenient storage pockets and designed for the weather.
To ensure that all funds are given to the Stephen Lewis Foundation each rider and support person has paid a registration fee of $165.00 which covers almost all their expenses. They also request pledges for the trip from friends and colleagues. This year they have already reached the $29,000.00 mark.
This co-operative effort of the many Canadian grandmother groups demonstrates the great contribution made to the important projects for African grandmothers and the many children they support and love.
photo: © Lesley Todd 2011