Looking Back with Margaret Zinser: The First Bead Challenge

This year marks the ninth year of Bead Challenge, an annual fundraiser and beadraiser for Beads of Courage. The campaign invites glass bead artists from all over the United States to make as many beads as possible for Beads of Courage! We had the chance to sit down with Margaret Zinser, the former president of the Beads of Courage Board of Directors, to learn more about the first Bead Challenge in 2008.

Margaret discovered Beads of Courage and the Sonoran Glass School around the same time. The Sonoran Glass School is one of a kind in the southwest desert; they inspire and educate people of all ages and backgrounds on the ways of glass making. She knew that she wanted to connect the two organizations, and the best route was through beads!

The Sonoran Glass School hosted the first Bead Challenge, then known as Bead-a-thon, in 2008. Twenty talented glass artists came together and made beads and raised $15,000 in just three days! Margaret did not know what to expect from that first Bead Challenge, and remembers the happy exhaustion from their bead marathon. She was happy with the turnout and success of the event because she felt it brought together community creativity and engaging fundraising between two nonprofit organizations.

Margaret is an extremely talented glass artist with a website full of vibrant and intricate pieces inspired by nature. She began to pursue glass bead making after earning her Master’s Degree in Entomology. Her studies influenced her, as butterflies, beetles, and caterpillars started showing up in her work. Today, Margaret works full time creating beautiful glass pieces that you can see here.

Thank you, Margaret, for your support and love for Beads of Courage and the Sonoran Glass School; the first Bead Challenge would not be possible without you! To learn more about this year’s Bead Challenge, and to make a donation to support your state team, click here.