Alisa Clamen sat surrounded by so much stuff in her Côte-St-Luc home on Friday — everything from luggage to bedding to outerwear to products from Pretty Ballerina, Bose and Swarovski to gift certificates for hotels, restaurants, spa and salon treatments and much, much more.
It will be a part of A Bazaar for Jesse, a multi-faceted fundraising initiative to help in the continuing search for Clamen’s son, Jesse Galganov, who left Montreal in September 2017 for what was to be an eight-month travel adventure in South America and Asia before starting start medical school in Philadelphia in July. He was 22. He was last seen on Oct. 1 in the Cordillera Blanca Mountains of northern Peru, in Huascarán National Park.
The event takes place Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Pierre Elliott Trudeau Park, 6975 Mackle Rd., in Cöte-St-Luc. It is hosted by Help Us Find Jesse, with Clamen chairing its committee and Jen Gian and Kathy Lempert-Stein as vice-chairs. In addition to thousands of new items and the gift cards and certificates, it will also feature a bake sale and sale of other food, raffle, auction and garage sale. All funds raised will go to the Jesse Galganov Fund at the Missing Children’s Network.
Clamen said on Friday that she is awed by people’s generosity and their willingness to help. “People are amazing,” she said. “I walked along Sherbrooke St. yesterday – and anyone I asked said Yes.”
The search for Jesse, by the Israel-based Magnus International Search & Rescue, has so far cost more than $2 million. Clamen has exhausted her savings and mortgaged her home and is grateful for the generous community support for the search.
Terrain experts who use covert intelligence and technology, “we built a psychology profile of Jesse to figure out what he considered and what he did not consider and to figure out how he made his decisions,” Magnus CEO Guy Atzmon explained in an interview.
Magnus founder Hilik Magnus, who knows the area well, said in an interview last fall of the search for Jesse: “To find him now is a matter of intelligence to point you in the right direction to look. It means very deep work, getting into small villages, local people. … My heart is with the mother. That’s what is driving me, to try to raise the mystery out of those mountains.”
Both of Jesse’s parents have travelled to Peru. His father, Todd Galganov, spent several months there. Last fall he offered a reward of $500,000 U.S. to anyone who could provide information that would lead to Jesse’s safe return.
Clamen was in Peru most recently last September. She flew to Israel in January to meet with Magnus, which sent a team to Peru that month. A Peruvian team, now embedded covertly in Peru, is working on behalf of Magnus, she sad.
“I am hopeful that we will find Jesse’s body and, hopefully, his bag as well,” Clamen said. “I want to bring him home.”
One does not discount miracles, but “I am not so hopeful we will find him alive.”
The first year or so after her son’s disappearance, Clamen kept to herself, rarely speaking with anyone who wasn’t a relative or a close friend. Her thinking has changed.
“Why would I close myself off from the world? I started connecting with people,” she said. “I started by connecting with people who were also suffering: It was easier to talk to people who had gone through trauma.”
In another initiative being organized by the tireless Clamen, lawyer and author Scott Turow has offered his complete body of work – 11 books of fiction, including Presumed Innocent and Burden of Proof, and two non-fiction books — for an online auction to raise money for the search effort for Jesse, who was at university with Turow’s stepdaughter. The author has also recorded a personal message about Jesse and the collection.
The auction will culminate in April with a by-invitation-only event honouring Jesse Galganov’s creative talents and his philanthropy with a vernissage of his artwork and videos depicting his volunteer work with the Movember organization.
from Montreal Gazette https://montrealgazette.com/news/a-fundraising-bazaar-to-help-finance-the-continuing-search-for-jesse-galganov