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MEET A KGC MEMBER

Meet Jane Watts

What attracted you to KGC and how long have you been a member?

The first Kingston Grandmother Connection (KGC) fundraising event I attended was The Chair Affair, a live auction of handpainted Muskoka chairs, at St. Lawrence College in 2007.  The organization and spirit of the women attracted me to what they were pursuing.That is what the last 12 years have shown - that the grandmothers and grandothers are really dedicated to aiding ‘rearranged families’ in sub Saharan Africa to enable them to survive and succeed.To learn about the cause I attended meetings that were close to me - walking to a meeting is part of the journey.

What are the various ways you have been and continue to be involved in our organization?

I attend monthly meetings to be involved, to know what is happening, and to be with generous women who work very hard helping each other plan and facilitate events for the Grannies and events that we can enjoy as a group of exceptional women. Without a teaching or nursing background, I tend not to be highly organized, but I have fit in as a doer - helping in at least 13 KGC Markets for Africa. I especially enjoy co-chairing the "Out of Africa" table. Each one day event is lots of work for us but the rewards from successful Markets are tremendous.

What are your reasons for continuing to support KGC as an active member?

Since 1975 when I first crossed Africa from Madagascar to Tangier, Morocco (with husband Steve), we have returned to tour South Africa, Namibia, Egypt, and Ethiopia.  We might not go again, so being a part of Kingston Grandmothers Connection I can participate as a green traveler - truly benefiting people in Africa without collecting hotel toiletries or overuse of resources.

Share with us something about your other interests and experience.

I am a collector of collections. It started in Madison, Wisconsin , grade 5, with rocks, stamps, postcards, and anything to do with horses. After raising three independent, loving, and resourceful daughters, we retired from Lindsay, Ontario to Kingston in 2005 to Steve's family house, next to his former grade school - now the Seniors Centre. Perfect location!  But with the traveling and souvenir shopping, the house needs organization.

Also a lovely Arabian mare came into our lives in 2003 when at a visit to see a horse for sale Steve asked me, "Well aren't you going to buy her (Isis)?"  Wow, my dream come true!  But the next comment was, "You aren't getting any younger!"  Steve paid for her and her board for ten years.  I have a whole curio cabinet of little horses and horse related items, plus books, etc., etc. - even a book of collected horse cartoons!