Wakefield’s sun drenched May Day celebration brought together about 1,000 of the usual suspects and a few new ones. The Wakefield Grannies - along with other granny organisations from both sides of the Ottawa river- gathered at the recreation centre fair grounds May 5 to raise money for charity and usher in the re-birth of spring.
“it’s a day to celebrate our solidarity as a group” says Granny Brenda Rooney. “The idea is a group of women coming together to achieve so much and a community coming together to achieve so much.”
The Wakefield Grannies group is dedicated to raising money and awareness about the plight of their fellow grandmothers in Africa. Many children there are left without parents because HIV/AIDS. as a result, countless grandmothers are forced to raise orphaned children.
Twelve other granny groups joined Wakefield’s incarnation, along with local businesses and volunteers, to raise more than $10,000 for charity through a garage sale, food stands and the peddling arts and crafts.
Most of the granny groups are affiliated with the Stephen Lewis Foundation, which works to ease the ravages of AIDS at the grassroots level.
A group of irreverent and unloving ladies 60 and older, managed to raise a whopping $4,746 through a garage sale they organized to support the Granny cause.
Two of the youngest volunteers involved in the May Day celebration were Emma Thompson of Chelsea and Marley Kennelly from Masham. The 10-year-olds sold cookies and donated the profits to the Wakefield Grannies.
Thompson says they don’t just raise money by basking. “Instead of getting presents for our birthdays, we ask for money so we can send it away.”
Organizers estimate well over 1,000 people attended the May Day celebration.
The event also marked the premiere of Rooney’s documentary The Great Granny Revolution, a film she made with her husband that continues the Grannies cause helping African Grandmothers.