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As we begin a new year, amid global strife and unrest, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the many supporters of the Pages for Peace Foundation who have dedicated their time and made financial contributions to the commitment of spreading the message of peace through the creation of the Big Book: Pages for Peace.

It has taken over 10 years to turn a student dream into a reality — our book, with over 1000 pages and 3,500 pieces of writing and artwork, is a testament to the steadfast belief that together individuals and groups can make a difference. Over 400 student members of the Bookmakers and Dreamers Club have participated throughout the years, and there have been so many adults who have volunteered countless hours of their time to create this massive book.

While I cannot recognize them all I would like to give special thanks to past and present members of the board of directors: Susan Colt Willcox, Stacy Chilcoat, Ilene Hill, David Tellier, Tracy Molaskey, Jayme Kulesz, Berta Erickson, Karen Riggert, Sue Hampton and Deb Bermudez. Our book designers, Leslie McIntosh and Joan Paley, were instrumental in getting the book to press, and Julie Roux, Mary Lou Lyman, Katherine Ellis Moore and John Love worked tirelessly throughout the years. There would be no book without these people and so many, many more who never gave up on us. We are also grateful to our local businesses and school administration for their continual support.

We are now moving on to the second phase of our project — sharing the content of the book with others in the United States and around the world. We began that process in October when we celebrated the launch of the World Tour of the Big Book at the JFK Library in Boston. We were all inspired not only by the physical display of the book, but also by the dedication of our guest speakers to our peace initiative and the positive energy of our supporters. The Gala brought much needed media attention to our project and the prospect of displaying the Big Book at the United Nations.

Through the financial support of our donors, we have been able to secure initial funding for developing a world-class museum exhibit, which includes three computer kiosks and the software to support displaying the book at future sites. The University of Massachusetts Lowell engineering department students are working on designing and building major components of the book stand, binding and page turner. This partnership brings high-level technical expertise to our project that is essential to reaching our goal.

We invite you to view a video of the JFK Gala evening on YouTube under the title of “Student Peace Activists …”

As our focus now shifts from building the book to sharing its messages of peace with the global community, we know our goal is attainable. This February students from the middle school and high school will travel to New York City to meet at the United Nations with former Under-Secretary of the United Nations, Ambassador Anwarul Chowdhury, to continue our work.

While there is still much to be done, we are steadfast in our commitment to sharing the messages in the Big Book: Pages for Peace and building a better world. We continue to need adult volunteers to work with us and would welcome your help.

Financial donations, both individual and business, are always appreciated and will be used to help defray the costs of displaying the book. Please visit us online at www.pagesforpeace.org to follow our progress or contact us at betsysawyer4bigbook@gmail.com.

With peace and gratitude,

Betsy Sawyer Teacher, Book Makers and Dreamers Club

advisor, President, Pages for Peace Foundation