Edmonton, Alberta, Canada (August 7, 2006) ~ Edmonton, Alberta author Cheryl Kaye Tardif has donated copies of her three published novels to the Oakland Park School in Streator, Illinois, to assist in the PTO’s effort to raise funds for a new wheelchair accessible playground to replace the existing twenty-year-old one that is not easily accessible.
Tardif was contacted via email by PTO President Amy Goodrich who had sent out a request for donations to a number of authors for assistance in their project. Tardif immediately researched the school and contacted Ryan Bemont, the school principal, who was surprised to receive a phone call from a Canadian author.
Tardif is no stranger to fundraising events. She is the founder of A.F.T.E.R. Canada―a group of authors who raised funds for the Canadian Red Cross to help the victims of the 2004 Asia tsunamis, and while A.F.T.E.R. Canada is not officially involved with the Oakland playground project, some of the same authors will be donating books to this worthy cause. Tardif also spearheaded Project Drumheller, a fundraising endeavor that sent a young BC boy to Drumheller, Alberta, to see dinosaur bones.
Goodrich found the Edmonton author while conducting a Yahoo search for authors’ emails. Tardif has since put the word out to a number of author/writer organizations, including Crime Writers of Canada, Writers Guild of Alberta, Northwest Writers, Authors’ Row (which Tardif organizes twice a year) and BookAdz.com (a site that promotes Canadian and American writers). The Edmonton author states that she is “honored to be part of such a fundraising event and proud that other Canadian authors have come onboard”.
According to Goodrich, the Streator community has been “working together to enhance our traditional 20 year old playground equipment to include access and usability for all children in our community. At present time, we have many children who because of disability limitations are not able to access our equipment or any other playground equipment in our community and must stay in their wheelchairs on the sideline watching the other children at play. We would like our project to benefit children with and without disabilities by providing opportunities for all children to play together side by side.”
The playground that the PTO is planning to build is called a ‘Boundless playground’.
“It will cost over $45,000 (as much as a home in our town),” Goodrich states. “The PTO has raised less than half the funds needed, but we know that we will get this done with others’ help. Our school is 80% low income, but where we lack funds, we make up for in community spirit!”
This December, the Oakland Park School PTO will be hosting their third fundraising craft fair with silent auction. They are collecting autographed books donated by authors in order to auction off baskets for men, woman and children. Cheryl Kaye Tardif was one of the first authors to respond to Goodrich’s plea, and she will be sending 7 autographed books, including a collector’s copy of the original 2003 Whale Song for the school library. In less than 24 hours, Tardif and Goodrich have already heard back from over 20 international authors.
To read the email Tardif received, please see her Blog at: http://cherylktardif.blogspot.com. More information, photos of the book baskets, authors, school and new playground will eventually be posted on the author’s site at: http://www.cherylktardif.com.
Any author interested in supporting this fundraiser is invited to send autographed books, bookmarks and other promotional material to:
Oakland Park School (c/o PTO)
701 S Sterling St
Streator IL, USA 61364
Please include a note stating which basket (men, women or children) each book should be added to.