Friday, September 19, 2008

ARTICLE #61) Finding a way to get her home

Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Finding a way to get her home
Kamloops This Week by Mikelle Sasakamoose

Glendene Grant is in the winter of her life.

Unlike the Greek myth describing the abduction of Persephone, goddess of harvest, and her mother Demeter’s desperate sorrow and springful rejoicing upon her return — Grant’s daughter remains trapped in a dark underworld.

Jessie Foster has been missing since spring last year, leaving her mother’s life dark, cold and barren without her beloved little girl.

The then-21-year-old, whose birthday is on May 27, was living in Las Vegas and in regular contact with her family, when phone calls home suddenly stopped, and so began the nightmare that is now their life.

For more than a year, Grant has been searching for her daughter, dismissing suggestions her second-oldest child might be dead, believing instead Jessie has been abducted and forced into the frightening arena of human trafficking.

But the fare is not light and fundraising efforts to pay for a private investigator and to build a reward fund have been ongoing, and will continue until Jessie is found.

“Jessie doesn’t deserve any less. She deserves more because she deserves to be found,” said Grant.

“We have to find Jessie.”

The most recent efforts include two Canada-wide fundraisers footed by a handful of local artisans and craftspeople.

Longtime family friend and rock hound Dennis Blais donated a Mexican crystal opal he named the Jessie Stone, to be used in a custom-made necklace designed by local goldsmith Rob Clark of R&L Jewellers.

Valued at approximately $1,200, the necklace is a work of art that Grant said it is absolutely stunning.

Blais, who is also a roofer in Kamloops, has donated a new roof to one lucky winner, including materials and labour.

The prize is transferrable and can be exchanged for cash.

And some of the most generous business owners in the city, said Grant, are donating a complete car detailing job.

Melissa and Dave Miller of MD Detailing have offered the prize valued at $400.

“It’s really a community effort,” said Grant, “and it’s so overwhelming to me.”

Award-winning stained-glass artist Rosanna McDonnell ( has known Grant since they were children themselves.

She wanted to help her friend in a way that would make a big difference, and offered a custom-designed stained-glass piece valued at $1,500.

Called Finding Her Way Home, the piece is profoundly personal, said Grant.

“When we look at it, we just well up in tears,” she said.

McDonnell said Jessie’s disappearance reminds her of the Persephone story, and that is what she designed the piece around, including the darkness of the woman’s absence and the light of her return.

“These girls fall in between the dark cracks and people just forget, or believe they’re dead — I never once felt this was a memorial piece,” said McDonnell.

“In my heart I feel that Jessie is very much alive. She’s just in a very dark place. She’s lost and she needs to be found.”

Raffle tickets are $25 each or five for $100. The draw will be held Sept. 2.

For ticket purchasing information, visit or e-mail

Cash donations can be made to the Jessica Foster In Trust account at the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, transit number 00050, account 28-27412.

Grant is still waiting for a Montel William Show segment on her daughter’s disappearance to air.

She and a friend will travel to Las Vegas next week to meet with authorities, local media and organizations like ATLAS, a human-trafficking task force.

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