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Screening funds African aid

Group of grannies will feature film at fundraiser

A crafty group of Powell River grandmothers and “grand others” have planned a unique fundraiser this September to benefit the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.

On Friday, September 16 at the Max Cameron Theatre, the Sunshine Gogos will present a night of food, friends, and eye-opening entertainment at an event entitled Into Africa: a film, a fundraiser, a turning of the tide.

“Africa is so much in the news right now with all kinds of funds being raised for Somalia and various agencies looking for donations,” said coordinating member Lynda Harris. “We’re quite excited that we’re doing something locally. It might not be going specifically to Somalia but it is a local event that will be fundraising for Africa.”

The featured film of the evening, From Under the Bushy Trees, is directed by Jan Padgett and Moira Simpson. It follows the efforts of Gerri Graber, a former resident of Powell River, along with several friends and community members, working with the people of Manda, Chad in sub-saharan Africa. Their goal was to build and equip a school, in addition to helping to improve the quality of life in the surrounding village. The film is an intimate and compelling journey into the complexities of offering aid to developing countries, as well as a celebration of the tenacity of the human spirit, both here and in Manda.

Prior to the film, a reception will take place in Brooks Hall. “There will be drummers, dancing, music, a no-host bar and food that will be prepared by the grandmothers group here,” said Padgett, who is also a member of the Sunshine Gogos. “The whole evening is going to be a celebration, really.”

The Gogos will set up a marketplace as well. “The tote bags [we make] will be sold there and also Kazuri, jewellery that’s made in Kenya. We sell it but all the money goes back to the women who are making the jewellery.”

The reception will begin at 7 pm while the 75-minute film will take to the big screen at 8. Tickets are $10 and are available in advance at Armitage Men’s Wear, Breakwater Books and Rocky Mountain Pizza and Bakery Co.

For more information on the event or on the Sunshine Gogos, interested readers can call 604.485.7210 or email