South Okanagan grannies staging fundraiser

May 4 event at Penticton Lakeside Resort will raise money for the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmother to Grandmother campaign

How about joining these ladies for a burger and a beverage

How about joining these ladies for a burger and a beverage

Few things beat a burger and a beverage on a Friday night, except maybe a generous slice of charity on top.

Grandmothers for Africa is holding its mouth-watering annual event May 4 from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Penticton Lakeside Resort ballroom, so it promises to be a slightly ritzier affair than past years.

But the move from the Barking Parrot pub to the larger ballroom also means that the grannies have to place their food order in advance, so they have to sell 300 tickets by May 1 rather than just at the door.

“The people who come just aren’t used to that,” said Lynn Popoff, a member and past-president of the local group. “This whole valley is so last-minute.”

A $12 ticket gets you a burger and beverage — beer, wine, coffee or tea — and an evening of entertainment, which includes silent and live auctions with a professional auctioneer. Among the items up for bid are a hockey stick and jersey autographed by the Penticton Vees. Attendees will also enjoy the  musical stylings of a classical guitarist and local songstress Gillian Russell.

“It will be a much classier event” in the ballroom, Popoff said. “This is new and improved.”

The purpose of the event is even classier.

All proceeds go to the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmother to Grandmother campaign, which supports grannies and AIDS orphans in Africa.

The foundation, Popoff said, “is really holding that continent together in many ways.”

She saw its work first-hand when she visited Swaziland in 2010.

“What they do is ask the question to the grannies: ‘What do you need?’ And whatever they need, that’s what (the foundation) is willing to do.”

The local Grandmothers for Africa chapter has about 25 active members and began about seven years ago. In that time, it has raised about $80,000 for the foundation.

Tickets are available at the Lakeside Resort front desk; by calling Rita at 250-493-0076 or Barb at 250-492-5644; or from any member grandmother. A small number of tickets could be made available at the event.