Last year, the James and Goertzen family lost Alitta James after a battle with cancer, she was a wife, mother, and grandmother. Today, grandchildren Everly James and Grady Goertzen are raising money for CancerCare Manitoba by selling bracelets and lemonade.

Everly turned her hobby into a fundraiser in honour of Alitta James, making many bracelets with violet beads, her grandmother's favourite colour.

Last Friday, the bracelet stand reappeared on the front lawn of the James' home down Sandpiper Crescent in Winkler. 

Everly James selling bracelets, with Grandpa James in background

Everly was excited to sell more bracelets, while Grady Goertzen chose to sell cookies and lemonade. Jordan James, Everly's dad, says it took a whole community to make the project happen.

"I know that the kids have been making bracelets like crazy. But then also us getting together as family and friends, and the whole group together, making lots of bracelets. Last year our goal was 100. Those 100 sold out in about the first hour or so. So, this year we set a higher goal."

This year, a total of over 275 bracelets were sold, with the sales totalling just under $2,000, with donations still coming in. Donations can be made at

Grady Goertzen serving up a cup of lemonade.

James says it's special that both children care and are excited about the project. 

Each bracelet contained letters that spelled words describing Alitta - joyful, loving, kind, caring, courageous, brave, plus some that simply spelled out her name.

Bracelets described the character of Alitta James.

Jenilee Goertzen, Grady's mother, says the kids were close to their grandmother. "She had Melanoma cancer. This year all proceeds go to Cancer Care Manitoba, but specifically to Melanoma. Our kids really wanted to support that cause, because they watched their grandma go through six years of that, and they're hoping to help others through that journey."

Their grandmother inspired the children, added Jordan. "She said, find joy in the journey, and you can tell in the grandkids now that is what they are doing. Also, this is a helpful thing, I think for them, because as we're doing this, we're looking at pictures of grandma, and we're having conversations about grandma and how wonderful she was. It's a good way to remember Grandma."

Rick James, the children's grandpa, says next weekend, the Health Science Centre will unveil a plaque in honour of his wife, Alitta, with an award ceremony to follow at Fort Whyte Centre.

"They’ll be giving us these lanterns to send off. It's just beautiful."

Last year's sales are playing a part in the presentation added Jordan.
"Everly brought [the money] to CancerCare [Foundation] in the city. As part of that, they were able to have this plaque created in honour of my mom but also [in honour] of how much funds were raised by these sweet grandkids who were just so passionate about this."

All the proceeds from the sale will go toward supporting the CancerCare Manitoba Foundation.

~With files from Abby Wall~