We are so grateful for all of the people who make our signature fundraiser such a success! There is truly nothing like Gems & Java. There's such a palpable spirit of inspiration and generosity in the room, and of course, it's just plain fun! Even some nasty weather this year couldn't keep our guests away.
So many ladies are hooked after the first time they experience Gems & Java, so we have lots of veteran guests. But every year, there are also new faces to meet! That's how we like it. And there's nothing better than seeing the smiles and hugs as old friends run into each other!
Gems & Java is the perfect mother-daughter date, a time to reunite with your girlfriends, or a chance to have some fun with your coworkers outside the office.
And after talking with first-time guest Amy Westwood, we have another suggestion, too - what makes a better birthday present than a ticket to Gems & Java? That's what brought Amy to Gems & Java and we're so grateful to her friend for the fabulous idea.
Experiences are always better than getting more "stuff," right?
"It’s been great fun. Just how many people are helped by it, that’s the best part," Amy said.
She even found the perfect bracelet to take home as her complimentary piece of jewellery.
And over in the Bags & Baubles, we ran into another rookie guest having a blast.
Julia Fox, who's nine, discovered a lovely necklace with an orange pendant. But she kept adding more great finds to her bag, too!
"The shopping is my favourite part. It’s like a treasure hunt!"
Of course, many people in Woodstock are veteran guests at Gems & Java. Usually our returning supporters bring new friends to experience the magic!
"I just think the whole organization and this night is so professional, so phenomenal," Bonnie Hartley said.
She's been coming to Gems & Java for years, since it was held at Innerkip Presbyterian Church. We've grown quite a bit since then! Bonnie said she loves coming to see what we've added or tweaked each year.
And it's a fabulous place to make a donation, Bonnie said.
"I love it because you know exactly where the money is going," she said. "Your $200 or $300 here goes ten times further in Ethiopia. The number of people’s lives you can impact is really huge."
We hope you'll come celebrate with us!