by Joanne and Paul Winer
Last October 25, our daughter Celia passed away at the age of 8 from a viral infection in her heart. Both of us were devastated and still feel her loss every day. One of the hardest things for us to accept was knowing that she would never have the chance to do all the things she wanted to do -- and she had many, many dreams; her most ambitious being that she wanted to save the world. In her young life, she had traveled with us to the farthest parts of both Canada and the US; thousands of miles. These travels were where she learned her love of nature, love of different cultures and people, and love of the environment. She was determined to grow up and make a difference.
She was a beautiful and caring and sensitive child, and we consider ourselves blessed to have had her, even for such a short time. We decided that the best way to deal with our grief was to turn it into something positive and make sure her dreams did not die with her.
We have started the Celia’s Rainbow Foundation in her name to complete some of her dreams to help make the worlds better place. We wanted the people of Quartzsite to be the first beneficiaries of her legacy. Thanks to the approval of the Garden Society, Park Board, and the Town Council, we are planning to put in a botanical garden and wild-flower nature trail in the Town Park This will be a learning center for people who want to know what kinds of cactus wild-flowers, trees. and shrubs grow in this part of the desert, We will also have displays of rocks and minerals to show what kinds of raw mineral rocks can be found; and what they look like when they are polished. All plants, etc. will be identified. We will endeavor to make this a beautiful attraction for everyone, as well as an environmental education area.
Celia was quite the artist, like her dad. We are taking many of her drawings and creating greeting cards to raise money for the Foundation. ALL OUR PROFITS will go to the foundation. We will have six design ready soon of Christmas drawings, including her little angel. We will have others available as all occasion cards after Christmas. We are hoping some of the businesses in town, will have space to let us, put a small display in their stores or booths We will be more than happy to wholesale them to people to make something for themselves too.
Celia’s Rainbow Gardens will not only be a memorial for Celia, but we are hoping to make it a living memorial for any Quartzsite resident who has passed away. It you wish to donate a cactus or anything else we need in Celia’s memory, or in remembrance of someone else who lived here, we will place a plaque with their name on it in the gardens.
We want this to be a happy place, where nature is at us most beautiful. This is a major undertaking, but already we have received offers of help and support. We consider this a labor of Love and it helped us to get through a very rough time. We would be willing to do it ourselves if we had to, but we have already gotten lost of encouragement and people willing to help us, so we hope to get a lot of the major work done before the end of March.
We are planning a ground breaking ceremony for October 25, and will have the dedication of March 28, which would have been her 10th birthday. We hope everyone will come then, and help celebrate her life with us. We hope this project will bring people together to make something really special for this wonderful town.
If you think you have an extra cactus some pretty rocks, bushes, tree, etc., or. even if you have a little time you can spare to help with the transporting, planting or digging etc., and would like to participate, please call us at 927 - 6551 or drop by the Reader’s Oasis Bookstore near the Pest Office. We’ll make sure you are on our list. We welcome all enquiries about the cards also.
Thanks again to the Park Board, Garden Society; and Town Council for giving us the opportunity to make this a real community project we can be all proud of.