This newsletter was written a year and four months after the project first began and was one of the first pages I created. A lot has happened since then. Visit our new web site for a recent update and lots of fun and interesting information.

December, 1996

My Dearest Friends:

It's been over a year since I originally contacted most of you for information on sweet potatoes. What an enjoyable year it's been. A whole hearted thanks to all who provided information needed for "The Joy of Cooking With Sweet Potatoes."

It was not my idea to write this book. My best friend approached me originally and I have to admit that I had quite a hearty laugh before I realized she was serious. She then sent me recipes she had collected for 30 years and I promptly stuck them in a drawer. The next thing I knew, unemployment struck myself and a family member. During this time nothing seemed to be going right.

I can remember praying and asking God for guidance. "Please set in motion the destiny you have designed specifically for me, and make it something I can sink my teeth into, I said." I was referring to a project that would be a joy, one that I could put my heart and soul into. My prayer was answered to say the least and its proof that God has a sense of humor.

My partner wanted a percentage of the proceeds to be donated to a worthwhile cause for the entire life of the book. When I learned of the sweet potatoes high Beta-Carotene content and its reputation as a cancer preventative, I contacted the American Cancer Society. They were very excited and looked forward to the completion. Next, it was a matter of selecting a specific foundation.

I talked to a couple at church who lost a child to cancer 20 years ago and became active in the Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation. I was told that the Foundation gives personal support to both parents and children with cancer. This is true. I called the Foundation and was placed on hold for what seemed an eternity. I was then told that a distraught parent had called and needed immediate support. Further, because of an income reduction, the staff is short-handed. It became apparent -- this organization needs help.

Did you know that cancer is the #1 cause of death by disease in children? CCCF is the recognized leader among foundations in the field of pediatric cancer. They are the only one focusing on the effects of childhood cancer through a cooperative effort by parents and professionals.

The Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation, Bethesda, MD, is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization. The programs and services are funded by donations from members and friends, foundation grants, corporate contributions and an American Cancer Society cancer control grant. CCCF is "lighting the way for children and families who cope with childhood cancer."

the #1 disease in children and help further promote the sweet potato industry at the same time? If we all pull together, we can make this work.

Thanks again and I wish you a most joyful holiday season. Talk to you next time. In the meantime, stay connected to the vine, that is the "SP Vine."

Very truly yours,

Pamela S. Weston

Afterwords

"Now let the life-sap run clean through our every vein, perfect what thou hast begin, God of the sun and rain. Thou who doest measure the weight of wind, fit us for stress and strain!"