Author Shirley Grabinsky, 81, has compiled personal memoirs into her first volume entitled Queen of the Potato Patch. All proceeds of 100 books donated will go to support Grannies a Gogo: the Vernon-South African Connections’ mission to aid South African grandmothers. (Contributed)

Grannies a Gogo host virtual book launch

All proceeds from new title go to support South African grandmothers

Local businesses are adapting to a new reality brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and several charitable organizations are following suit, including Grannies a Gogo.

Grannies a Gogo: the Vernon-South African Connection, like millions of others, are self-isolating and following the provincial and federal government’s directives to help curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, but that hasn’t slowed them down from trying to continue supporting Gogos — which is Zulu for grandmothers.

The Vernon-based organization is launching a book entitled Queen of the Potato Patch, by Shirley Grabinsky, with a virtual book launch on YouTube.

“We had planned a big, splashy book launch party, but that has been postponed for now,” spokeswoman Susan Fenner said.

Grabinsky has donated 100 of her books to the Grannies with 100 per cent of the proceeds going to support needy Gogos who care for their AIDS-orphaned grandchildren in Sabie, South Africa.

All fundraising events have since been postponed or cancelled, “so it is especially important that we get the word out about Shirley’s book,” Fenner said.

The “gentle book,” she said, will be appreciated by many during these times of uncertainty and seclusion.

Grabinsky, 81, has written memoir stories for several years, and Queen of the Potato Patch is the first volume. The Grannies is an organization near and dear to her heart as she was one of the founding members and she’s served two years as president.

The stories in the first volume were illustrated by Robin Jacobsen and was edited by Anne Clarke.

“B.C. writer Shirley Grabinsky pulls at the heartstrings of all those readers born and fled from the harsh Prairies, hooking them with references to crawling through barbed-wire fences, meadowlark song, jellied salads and travelling salesmen,” one reviewer said.

“It made me nostalgic, made me laugh, made me gasp a couple time and had me in tears at others,” another said.

To purchase the book and support South African grandmothers, visit or email

The book is $15.

READ MORE: Enderby resident gives forever home to ‘homeless’ plant

READ MORE: Okanagan’s latest lotto winner looks to travel once COVID allows


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Arts and Entertainmentcharity

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Fundraiser launched for Enderby drive-in

Vernon resident seeks to raise $20K to save Starlight Drive-In

Duck nests at Vernon drive-thru

Mother has hatched four ducklings just inches from the steady stream of vehicles

North and Central Okanagan on flood watch

Kalamalka Lake users are asked to take measure to reduce the risk… Continue reading

VIDEO: Flowers stolen from Vernon distillery

Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery captured surveillance footage of the thief in a black car

Vernon Paralympian named to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

Three-time world and Paralympic gold medalist Sonja Gaudet is part of 11-member class

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

Houseboat company partly owned by Shuswap MLA withdraws controversial ad

The ad welcomed houseboaters from other provinces, contradicting anti COVID-19 measures.

Squabble between campers in North Shuswap leads to bear spraying

An argument over late night partying escalated into a fight which led to one person being sprayed

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

Penticton may soon allow drinking alcohol in some public places

Trying to inconspicuously drink on the beach could become a thing of the past

Unique ‘the Wedge’ development makes way back to Kelowna council

Council initially deferred its decision on the project in March

Nanaimo senior clocked going 50 km/hr over limit says her SUV shouldn’t be impounded

RCMP say they can’t exercise discretion when it comes to excessive speeding tickets

Most Read