The First Pick Party for the Hope Bracelet Project was held Friday, November 9th, 2007, at Strings Restaurant. In attendance were some of our fine beadmakers, Cindy Brown, Tamara Domenico, Roanne Kuenzler, and Kim Miles, who drove up from Taos. We were also privileged to have Marta Gabre-Tsadick, founder of the Project Mercy school in Ethiopia and her son Sam, who works for Project Mercy in Indiana. At least 230 bracelets and 3 Hopeful necklaces were sold, raising close to $25,000 for the Cunningham Foundation. When Marta shook my hand she looked at my bracelets and said, “Is that all you’ve got?” Fortunately, I was able to tell her, “No, I have more at home.”
After a wonderful dinner (thanks Noel and your staff at Strings), we had the opportunity to share our project experiences with all the other attendees. My personal part seems so insignificant compared to all the inspiring words shared by those who have actually traveled to Ethiopia. Yet every little step is a help. By purchasing one bracelet, you contribute the approximate annual income of an entire family there. So, if you don’t have your bracelet yet, check them out at Trice Jewelers starting Nov 14th.
What could be more fun than a day playing with beads? Well, spending a day with friends, old and new, eating fabulous food, and playing with beads destined to go on a trip to Ethiopia and back. Cindy Brown and I showed up bright and early at the home of Noel & Tammy Cunningham. Alissa came and brought her wonderful and creative children Walker & Hannah, who are already professional bead sorters. April & Patti showed up on a Harley (potato, potato, potato) and RMBS members Phyllis Rigsby, Devon Billings, Elaine Kelty, and Gloria Shone came in for the afternoon shift. Marta called while we were sorting, so we were all able to shout a hello to her. We packaged 490 sets of beads to go on a special direct flight to Ethiopia.
Thanks to all who helped sort; there will be more sorting opportunities in the future as the Lampwork Challenge members are hard at work making more beads!