Give them bread but roses, too

Lifetime Ann Davis member Jean Scott

Lifetime Ann Davis member Jean Scott

Ann Davis, who organized food hampers for Chilliwack’s needy in the 1920s, would have been exceptionally proud.

The 25th Annual Bread and Roses Celebration got underway with a luncheon on Saturday at the Best Western, honouring the invaluable contributions of local women volunteers.

Glenda Standeven, author of Choosing to Smile, was the keynote speaker. She regaled the crowd with inspiring vignettes of how she lost her leg to cancer, but gained a strong voice.

“Life is too short for regrets,” she said. “Share the gifts you have been given.”

The annual event Bread and Roses luncheon hosted by Ann Davis Transition Society uses the tagline: “Ordinary women — Ordinary Lives, Extraordinary contributions!” to emphasize the incredible work done every day in this community by a range of volunteers.

Ninety-nine-year-old Jean Scott gestured toward the photos posted on the wall, from the first Bread and Roses dinner she organized 25 years ago.

“We were oversold that night, and for years after, because there was a need for this recognition,” she said. “We have to remember that the pebble we drop here will cause a ripple that goes on throughout the world. Just keep your heart open. It’s not that hard.”

Bread and Roses comes from a poem by the same name by Oppenheim, with the line, “Hearts starve as well as bodies; give us bread, but give us roses.”

Hope gospel singer Debbie Bergeron sang several original songs a cappella, as well as the song, Bread and Roses in honour of the event.

The 2011 Bread and Roses honourees who received a single rose and a loaf of bread were: Lynda Farley (Kiwanis), Jan Joneson (Ruth Rebekah Lodge #4), Kay McKinnon (Chilliwack United), Katrina Murray (St. John Ambulance), Brenda Paterson (PEO), Carolyn Pinsent (Chwk Y), Nellie Prinse (Hosp. Auxiliary), Eileen Prough (Carman United), and Clara Sadler (Ann Davis).

jfeinberg@theprogress.com