Penticton Indian Band Elder Gramma Grace is going to Hawaii.
Thanks to everyone’s generosity and several fundraisers including a sold-out charity bingo night at the Black Antler and loonie auction that raised almost $6,000, Gramma Grace Greyeyes will be fulfilling her bucket list trip to Oahu where she’ll be going to a Pow Wow and meeting with Hawaiin elders.
The $13,000 raised in the community was given to Grace’s daughter Lainie Lea Greyeyes who booked all the flights, accommodations and special travel expenses.
Lainie and Gramma Grace leave Sept. 7 for Hawaii. Enough funds were raised so that if she is up to it, Granmma Grace can go see the PVR Professional Bull Riding in Edmonton.
The residential school survivor spoke at Penticton graduations in June, took part in the the Between the Lakes Pow Wow, and offered a prayer at the unveiling of the rainbow-two spirit crosswalk at Queen’s Park Elementary, all the while suffering with terminal cancer.
Since her diagnosis in 2021, it’s been a difficult journey of chemotherapy and surgery in hopes of stopping the cancer. Still, through it all, Grace has pushed through the pain to continue her community work when she can.
Family friend Darryl-Jean Peeman started the fundraising effort to get Gramma Grace to Hawaii.
“This was personal for me as she was a great friend to my late Gramma Dorothy Ward/Gabriel. Family and community came together to get my Gramma Dorothy to Yellowstone National Park before she passed away from cancer and I wanted to do the same for Grandma Grace,” she said in a post on the Let’s Get Gramma Grace to Hawaii Facebook page.
Lainie plans to post pictures of Gramma Grace from Hawaii for everyone to see.
Grace Greyeyes survived a horrific childhood in a residential school. She later worked as a registered nurse at Penticton Regional Hospital for years, before retiring in 1988.
“For all that she has been through she could have had hate in her heart, but instead, she chose love, and has shared that with so many people not just here, but in the whole community of Penticton.”
Gramma Grace has undergone a couple of rounds of chemo before heading on her trip to Hawaii. She also celebrated her birthday in August.
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