Women are usually the members of the family interested in keeping family records, researching family history, and with all that, keeping all the family photos in order.
With the family and women in particular in mind, Sigi Ludwig-Dieck and her husband Dave Ludwig will be holding their sixth Crop for Chiwid Transition House this weekend at the Longhouse.
Chiwid is the transition house for abused women run by the Cariboo Friendship Society and holds a special place in Sigi’s heart since she had been abused in her first marriage.
“I am very passionate about helping women and children to get out of the cycle of abuse,” Sigi says. “It took me 23 years to get out of my cycle of abuse.”
In 2010 Sigi started holding scrapbooking (or crop) events for Chiwid House in her basement with a group of just seven women. She has held five Crops for Chiwid since them, each one growing in success.
“In two years we have gone from seven women in my basement to 30 women at the Longhouse,” Sigi says. “I never expected to do that. It is wonderful.”
All proceeds from the $55 participation fee (including meals for the weekend), raffles, silent auction and sale of hand crafted embellishments go directly to the Chiwid House.
Between February 2010 and October 2012 she says the scrapbooking events have raised $7,790.99 for Chiwid Transition House. The last Halloween Crop raised $1,636.70 and she is hoping to raise at least that amount with this weekend’s event.
“This is my passion,” Sigi says. “We always have a theme for a donation drive as well.”
Last June the participants donated toys for toddlers and teens and at the Halloween crop participants filled two utility vehicles with supplies for the bedroom from pillow cases to sheets, to comforters and afghans.
This weekend being February and close to Valentine’s Day the theme is Heart 2 Heart and the donation theme is pots and pans, new or gently used.
Sigi says women in crisis often come to Chiwid House with nothing and these donations help the women to set up households on their own when they are ready to leave Chiwid House.
Like her other scrapbooking weekends the fun starts this Saturday morning at 9 a.m. and goes right through until 4 p.m. Sunday afternoon.
The fee includes five hot meals cooked up by Sigi and Dave – breakfast, lunch and dinner on Saturday, and a Sunday — breakfast with Dave’s famous french toast and lunch of soup and salad. The couple try to mix up the main meals and offer two choices such as salmon and turkey, or beef and lamb. This Saturday the main meal will be ham roast and chicken.
“My husband and I pay for the food but we also try to get as much food donated as possible,” Sigi says. “Every donation bag of chips or roast of beef, or turkey helps.”
For the last five crops she says the Water Factory has donated bottled water for the event and will be there again this weekend with their water.
Up to eight vendors usually have their scrap-booking and other supplies available for sale. They don’t pay for their tables but each vendor donates two items that will be raffled to raise funds for Chiwid House.
Each guest can also participate in two daily “make and take” workshops during the weekend provided by scrap booking suppliers. For instance participants will learn new techniques for making greeting cards or a photo layout which they take home with them.
Sigi says she also tries to have something special for participants at each event.
Florence Bettschen will be there from Day Spa Champagne providing chair massages for a reduced fee.
At recent events they have had a photographer there to take pictures and a beauty consultant.
This weekend there will be a raffle for a trip for five to the Great Canadian Craft Spring Fling of Canadian Crafters at the Vancouver Convention Centre, Canada Place. It includes five tickets for the fair and two hotel rooms near the centre.
For her, Sigi says scrapbooking provides time for healing and reflection.
“Spending time with old and new photographs provides me with personal healing time,” Sigi says. Now 56 she says she couldn’t be happier with Dave and her blended family which includes four children and seven grandchildren.
She says Dave is also familiar with abuse and supports her efforts to raise awareness about the problem of abuse and funds for Chiwid Transition House.
She says abuse wasn’t an issue that women of her generation talked about but talking about it now is the only way to help men and women recognize the signs and symptoms of abuse and address the problem head on.
She explains the cycle of abuse simply as the honeymoon, tension, then explosion, triangle “that’s as simple as it gets.”
Sigi says she and Dave have worked together to build their relationship and new life together.
“We set up a business out of the ashes of the old one,” Sigi says.
They operate Hillside Fire Protection, sprinkler system installations and Dave also does specialty welding.