Gems Level Sponsors: Gems & Java 2017

We are so grateful to our sponsors who help to make Gems & Java a success!
It is our pleasure to introduce you to this year's Gems Level sponsors...

Roberts & Co. is such a huge supporter of Mothers with a Heart for Ethiopia. In addition to their sponsorship of this year's Gems & Java, the store is also continuing to sell our hand-knit Bears for Busajo! You might also remember seeing them during the Closet Clean Out last fall.

"We chose to sponsor because we believe in the cause of empowering women here and around the world," said owner Vicki Parkhill.

And the hard work of the team behind Gems & Java is inspirational, too, she said.

"The dedication of the volunteers and supporters shows us that when we help others we help ourselves. We join people who share our views, we make new friends and we make a difference," Vicki said.

We are so grateful for the Roberts team. Here Cathy Bateman (left) and Karen Costello (right) show off a couple of those cute bears.

Thank you for your loyal support in so many of our fundraising efforts, Roberts and Co.!

A big thank you to Blanche Blancher and the entire team at Nethercott Press. This Gems Level sponsor is a longtime supporter of Gems & Java, and we are so grateful for the continued support. Thank you so much Blanche and team - your sponsorship helps to make our work possible!

Lawn Lions.jpg

A big thank you to Jeff Jarrell, owner of Lawn Lions Property Maintenance, for his continued sponsorship of Gems & Java. Lawn Lions is a Gems Level Sponsor for this year's event.

We appreciate your support, Jeff!

Ashlee Hall is the co-chair of the Gems & Java committee and has been an incredible asset to the event.  Her event planning experience, her enthusiasm, and commitment to our work have been incredibly beneficial.  Ashlee's workplace, Cowan Park, is a Gems Level sponsor of our event. 

It's not hard to see why we love having Cowan Park as a sponsor - and as the location for Gems & Java.

"We feel very strongly about giving back. As a community-based, not-for-profit organization, we understand and appreciate the tremendous amount of effort, volunteers and time it takes to raise funds to help improve the quality of lives for people," Ashlee said.

"We wanted to be part of something unique and life altering. The programming to support women, children and education in Ethiopia...makes a lasting impact on individual and family lives."

Holding our biggest fundraiser at Cowan Park is a perfect fit. There's room for more women and more beautiful bags, scarves, and jewellery.

"The highlight of the event for us is seeing a large group of women coming together, enjoying time together, shopping and knowing that each item they purchase or donation they make, will greatly impact the lives of other women and especially children in a struggling country. We so often take for granted the fortunate lives we live here in Canada," Ashlee said on behalf of the Cowan Park team.

"Each dollar raised and donated towards this event, cause and organization, is a step closer to the positive change we wish to see in the world."

We can't wait to see all of you at Cowan Park in just a few days for Gems & Java 2017!!

The Saturday Grind

Could there be a more perfect partnership? The Saturday Grind is a new sponsor for Gems & Java, but it’s a rather important piece of the puzzle.

There wouldn’t be much java without The Saturday Grind.

“There was a need for a coffee supply at this year’s event, and I was more than happy to help out,” said Blair Ness-Jack, owner of The Saturday Grind.

His business is stepping up to be a Gems level sponsor at Gems & Java 2017. Blair is also providing guests with a coupon for The Saturday Grind and donating several silent auction items.

“The coffee side of the event was a good fit,” Blair said.

In fact, it’s an important “first” for the Saturday morning coffee joint, which opened a little over a year ago at the Woodstock Farmers Market.

“This is my first sponsorship opportunity I’ve had since starting my business, so I’m quite excited to help out and to provide coffee and support to an event like this,” said Blair, who has a personal connection to Mothers with a Heart for Ethiopia through his mom Wendy, an active volunteer.

Blair can’t make it to this year’s event, but he’s looking forward to fulfilling a crucial role as a sponsor.

“I’m excited to be a part of it.”

Morage Allan and Ryan Shelton

Morage Allan and Ryan Shelton

Wilson and Markle Jewellers

It's the first year Wilson and Markle Jewellers are sponsoring Gems & Java - and the jeweller is lending its support in more ways than one!

Morage Allan and Ryan Shelton at Wilson and Markle also helped to sort through the vast amounts of donated jewellery with an expert eye.

"You had some really interesting pieces. There was one particular pair of silver earrings, elephants, that were really fun.  There was a lot of nice silver things," said Morage.

"We do estate appraisals and things like that, so we’re quite used to sorting through."

Morage said the store was happy to learn about Mothers with a Heart for Ethiopia and provide sponsorship for Gems & Java.

"I think it's a really great cause. I actually have an adopted little boy, as well," she said.

"We like to help where we can in the community."

Lisa Miettinen

Lisa Miettinen


Lisa Miettinen

Lisa Miettinen is a long-time volunteer and supporter of Mothers with a Heart for Ethiopia. She's deeply invested in the work of the organization, and the success of Gems & Java.

"I am amazed at the positive impacts on people's lives as a result of this organization's financial help to projects in Ethiopia, and the money raised at Gems & Java is absolutely critical," she said.

Lisa has travelled to Africa twice as a tourist. There she saw the impact that basic necessities and employment can have on a family.

"I saw the difference between having no hope of control over your situation versus having the basic means to support yourself.  The work of Mothers supports empowerment projects, a 'hand up,' not just a 'hand out,'" she said.

Lisa is hard at work during the two Gems & Java events, but working with the team of volunteers is always a joy, she said.

"Spending time with really wonderful women is the highlight for me.  That and the fun of the Silent Auction!  What will I manage to bring home this year, I wonder?"