In 2008 twenty year old Amanda Lewis promised to donate to Agur Lake Camp two dollars from the sale of each copy of her book, One, published that year.
Five hundred copies were printed. All copies have now been sold, and Lewis, a resident of Penticton and student at Okanagan College, presented her cheque for $1,000 to the Agur Lake Camp Society Board. Carla Ohmenzetter, president, accepted the cheque and thanked Lewis for her generosity.
Lewis explains that she has been writing poetry since she was four years old, and that she joined a writers’ group at school to learn more. She credits Yasmin Thorpe with giving her the inspiration to develop her writing. Thorpe runs Penticton Writers and Publishers. Thorpe invited Lewis to be the keynote speaker at her annual BC Young Writers Camp, which took place July 2 at Okanagan College. This week- long camp is an annual event designed to instruct and inspire young people from across the province in their desire to become writers. Realizing that Lewis’ book of poetry was a fund-raiser for Agur Lake Camp, Thorpe bought Lewis’ 75 remaining copies at full price to give to her students.
“Yasmin was extremely supportive and helpful in the creation of One” Lewis explains. “Making the book involved my entire family. My aunt was the main artist and illustrator, but my mom, grandma, cousin and myself also contributed pieces of artwork. We all got involved when it came to the front cover. I wanted the book to carry the message that we are all connected and are all one.”
Lewis’ choice of Agur Lake Camp as a worthwhile cause sprang out of her own experience. Because of being born with cerebral palsy she spends most of her waking life in a wheel chair. From that vantage point point she is aware that opportunities for people with disabilities to participate in wilderness camping are rare, and so she began giving volunteer time for creating a camp that would offer families with special needs members a chance to enjoy a holiday in the wilderness. She serves on the ALCS Board and heads up their Speaker’s Bureau.
By donating proceeds from the sale of her poetry book to Agur Lake Camp, Lewis says she “can connect both of her passions.”