Never underestimate the power of a woman or in this case a group of grandmothers. Starting in mid-March, eight widows who live in a seniors’ complex in Saskatoon started to make the world a better place – one pie at a time.
Some of the ladies have known each other for more than seven decades. They cherish love, laughter, and friendship and between them have more than 35 children and 90 grandchildren.
They also know how to give back and the gift that is donating one’s time to a charity.
“We play cards a lot together and got chatting – we may be elderly ladies but we can do something productive,” Pat Trask, 87, said.
That something productive they said was making pies to raise money after Marjorie Carson’s grandson was saved by STARS air ambulance after being trapped in an avalanche outside of Banff, Alta., while snowboarding.
“If they hadn’t … he won’t be here,” she said while getting choked up.
“He’s fine, he’s not well yet. He’s still in the hospital but walking and talking.”
Shortly after that, the Humboldt Broncos bus crash in April that killed 16 and left 13 injured.
It was at that time these grandmothers said they really got to work. They rolled up their sleeves and spent endless hours making and baking 12 different kinds of pie.
“In the timeframe, around five weeks we sold around the 450 pies,” Trask said.
Frances Budney, technically the ninth woman in the group, donated a lot of the fruit for the filling.
“Cherries, apples, Saskatoon berries, plums, peaches.”
They all say at once, finishing each other’s sentences since they are that closely connected.
The group ranges in age from 78 to 88, and they admit at times this passion project with pastry was a little overwhelming.
“Lots of work but I enjoyed every, every minute of it,” Carson said.
“I got tired, I got cranky,” she added as the entire room erupted with laughter.
On Tuesday, they reaped the rewards of all their hard work with a special tour of the STARS hanger with pilots and health care teams leading the way.
The group enjoyed every minute of it and what started as a pie in the sky idea really paid off.
Not only had the Pie Ladies from Louise Street exceeded their goal of $1,000, they donated $5,283.95 to STARS after selling pies at $10 each.
“Obviously, it’s very important that we have our corporate and government partners, but it’s the fundraisers large and small – from children’s lemonade stands to ladies baking pies that have kept STARS in the sky.”
It’s their hard work and dedication that many would say have made these ladies, a shining star in Saskatchewan too.