Friday, September 19, 2008

ARTICLE #15) Fundraiser for Jessie Foster

Friday, May 5, 2006
Fundraiser for Jessie Foster
Kamloops This Week by Darshan Lindsay

A backyard barbecue fundraiser is being planned for next weekend to help a Kamloops family continue its search for a missing daughter and sister.
Jessie Foster, 21, hasn't been heard from since a phone call March 28.

A private investigator in Las Vegas has unravelled part of Jessie's trail - a life as a prostitute and a rich boyfriend who was nothing more than a pimp.

It all came as a shock to Glendene Grant, who kept in regular contact with her daughter since she moved to Las Vegas a year ago.

It doesn't matter, though.

All she wants is her baby back home - safe and alive.

"I never think, except in my deepest moments, we won't get her back," said Grant, who is determined to keep hope that Jessie is still alive.

She worries, however, about the mounting bill for the private investigator.

Police in the Nevada city are investigating, but they have little to go on in connection with Jessie's disappearance. It's the private investigator who continues to pound the pavement.

Friends have already organized one fundraising dinner, at Malone's restaurant, which raised $1,600. Now, a cousin is busy preparing for the barbecue on May 13. It will take place in Grant's backyard at 834 Dominion St., from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Tickets are $10 for adults for a home-cooked roast beef dinner and dessert. Kids can come and, for $5, get a hamburger or hot dog.

Save-On Foods is loaning the family a massive barbecue, and is donating the hot dogs and buns and condiments and utensils. Cooper's Foods is also pitching in.

The event will also include prize draws and a 50/50 raffle.

Grant said the well wishes of so many people have kept her going. Having grown up in Kamloops, she's had phone calls from people she hasn't talked to in 20 years.

They've heard what's happened and they want to lend support.

"There are a lot of prayers, a lot of good thoughts. It's appreciated," she said.

Grant is also noticing people realize it could happen to anyone; it's not something one can see on TV, and then just turn off.

"People are understanding that Jessie didn't go down to Las Vegas to become a prostitute."

Anyone wanting dinner tickets for next Saturday's fundraiser can contact Grant at 374-6137, or just show up on the 13th.

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