Our Beneficiaries Inspire Us!
The BCHF is the hospitality industry’s charity, supporting and inspiring those who serve you every day. We help those who most need it, often in their darkest hour.
As they cope with difficult medical situations and the extraordinary costs arising from them. We come alongside to support them and their families. Their stories of struggle and triumph inspire us to work together to help our own within the hospitality community.
The BCHF provides financial support beyond conventional medical plans, EI, or other insurances or benefit plans. We are often the first glimmer of hope for these members of the hospitality community.
Meet Our Beneficiaries.
A graduate of Northwest Culinary Academy, Steven was working at The Pear Tree restaurant when he fell ill in January 2016. One morning he woke up to no feeling in his feet, the paralysis moved through his body and he immediately underwent surgery to remove a growth on his spine due to a rare staph infection. Faced with a 6 month recovery period Steven turned to the BCHF who supported him through his recovery.
Originally from Sydney, Australia Andrea was in a snowboarding accident, which led to breaking his left leg and requiring surgery. Prior to the injury he was working at Burdock & Co. As an amputee (right leg) the injury to his left leg was more serious than most. The BCHF was able to help Andrea after surgery during his recovery so he was able to return to work at Burdock & Co in full health.
Sarah immigrated to Canada 15 years ago from England and as an avid snowboarder took up residency in Whistler. However, due to osteoarthritis due to her love of snowboarding she required a double hip replacement, which meant taking a break from working at Rim Rock Casino as a bartender, and Roland’s Creekside as a server. With both her recovery and the seasonality of Whistler in mind, the BCHF was able to support Sarah during recovery before returning part time work in early March of this year.
Ralf applied for assistance to the BCHF in late December 2015 with the hopes of acquiring the necessary medical equipment after multiple foot surgeries after his left foot virtually collapsed. Prior to reaching out to the BCHF Ralf worked at Viti Wine and Lager as the General Manager. With help from the BCHF Ralf will be able to focus on getting back on his feet.
Michael has been part of the hospitality landscape as senior editor of Vancouver Magazine’s food and drink section, as well as, as managing editor of the Westender. Before taking on a new position with Glacier media to edit the debut edition of The Alchemist Michael was diagnosed with cervical dystonia, a rare neurological disorder that affects the neck muscles and produces painful spasms and postures. Michael’s condition is even more rare with his neck spasms backwards compromising his sleep. A doctor in New Mexico is an expert on the disease and the BCHF matched funds from a Go Fund Me campaign to help Michael learn how to live with his diagnosis.
In January of this year, one month after marrying his sweetheart, a lump was found and Luke began fighting Stage 3 cancer with rigorous chemotherapy treatments. His new wife was new to the province from the east and working a part time job. Luke has been a chef at Milestone’s Langley for three years and on January 27th Milestone’s held a fundraiser for Luke. His friends and family also set up a Go-Fund-Me campaign. The BCHF matched funds from both initiatives to help Luke.
Genieve suffered three concussions in less than a year and a ruptured eardrum on the set of a student film resulting in headaches, blurred vision and slurred speech. She was unable to take care of her guests at Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar because of her post concussion syndrome symptoms. Recovery for Genieve meant rest, massage therapy, acupuncture, reflexology and supplements to treat the brain. The BCHF was able to provide financial support to Genieve until she was able to return to work part time.
Bonnie has worked in the hospitality industry for over 42 years, mostly recently at Sawbucks Pub in White Rock as a bartender. As a widowed mother of three, Bonnie sought support for her oldest daughter’s medical needs when a fire occurred at and shut down Sawbucks Pub for renovations through the Spring and Summer of this year. The BCHF was able to provide a subsidy for the family’s living expenses until Bonnie was able to resume work at the reopened Sawbucks Pub.
Billy Wiseman has been a valuable Gray Monk Estate Winery employee since 2008. In January 2016, he experienced pain in his arms, which was determined to be a worsening spinal cord condition. Intense pain forced him to leave work for two months. Passionate about his work and industry, Billy elected to have surgery as soon as possible, receiving successful treatment in Seattle. Financial assistance from the BCHF allows Billy and his wife to cover expenses and focus on recovery until he returns to the workforce.
Valerie moved to Whistler two years ago and began working at La Brasserie as a server, while enjoying the slopes. Due to a snowboarding injury in November 2015, where Valerie suffered an incomplete fracture of her T12 vertebra she was forced to take time off work and focus on recovery in Vancouver. With the help of the BCHF Valerie was able to return to Whistler after being at GF Strong with a positive prognosis of being able to start work again after 6 months versus the original year proposed by her doctors.
In May 2015, Rick, a veteran in the hospitality industry, contracted strep pneumonia and bacterial meningitis. He was rushed to the hospital where he was immediately put on full life support and placed into a medically induced coma for 4-and-a-half weeks. During this time he developed sepsis and necrosis causing his hands and feet to turn black due to lack of circulation. His limbs were amputated to save his life and Rick applied for help with the BCHF to help fund a pair of myo electric hands. In June 2016, his friends and family held a fundraiser in Coquitlam that the BCHF was able to support through matched funds.
In January of this year Michael was diagnosed with acute liver failure and was in need of a transplant immediately. As senior viticulturist at Constellation Brands and a past chair of the BC Wine Grape Council Michael’s work in the wine industry has been integral. The BCHF was able to provide matched funds based on the YouCaring page that had been set up for his transplant to take place in Taiwan. Michael got his new liver in February and is well on his way to a full recovery.
Last October, Melissa and her husband Ryan woke up to find their two-year-old daughter Julia unable to walk or move. It was determined Julia suffered from a spontaneous hematoma (blood clot) that left her with a spinal cord injury. Melissa left her job as the Senior Conference Manager at the Delta Grand Okanagan in order to take care of and ensure Julia gets to her treatments in Vancouver each week. The BCHF was able to help provide funds in partnership with Spinal Cord Injury BC that will help Julia get treatment at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Washington, DC.
Josh was working at Oru Resturant in the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel when he was attacked in downtown Vancouver in October 2015. The attack included a punch to his head that did serious damage to his face and brain. On February 22, Josh’s coworkers held an event to raise funds for him as his recovery is set to take at least a year. The BCHF matched funds for the event his coworkers organized.
Aja has been working in the hospitality industry since her teenage years and is currently a full time server with managerial duties at Locus Lounge in Vancouver. In Spring of this year Aja tripped in Gastown and landed on her forearms resulting in two broken elbows. The BCHF helped with her expenses during recovery, which included physiotherapy. Aja was happy to return to work performing light duties as she continues to get stronger.
Chris started bartending at The Diamond in March 2015. In December 2015 his leg snapped as he was bending over to pick something up resulting in surgery plus at least 4 months of recovery before the screws can be removed and full recovery can begin. With at least a year of physiotherapy ahead of Chris, The Diamond held a fundraiser in December 2015 and the BCHF matched the funds raised to help with his expenses until he was able to return to work.
Melissa and her husband Gerry came to Canada in 2013 to work in the hospitality industry, both of them began working at 10 Acres Bistro in Victoria in September 2015. Melissa had to stop working at 10 Acres in her line cook position due to advanced breast cancer. When her application for support came to the BCHF she was heading into her fourth round of chemo treatments, with two more required before mastectomy surgery. To help keep stress low during treatment the BCHF was able to provide support so Melissa could focus on getting healthy.
Beneficiaries Through the Years
2016 ($83,735 to date)
Matthew Dutton | Restaurant Worker, Richmond
Michael White | Journalist/Editor, Vancouver
Luke Rawick | Cook, Langley
Ralf Joneikies | Liquor Store Worker, Vancouver
Valerie Daigle | Cook, Whistler
Chris Saylor | Bartender, Vancouver
Sarah Walters | Restaurant Worker, Whistler
Rachel Krumpholz | Bartender, Vancouver
Richard Payne | Food Service Sales-retired, Kamloops
Michael Watson | Viticulturist, Osoyoos
Josh Albertson | Restaurant Server, Vancouver
Steven Steinbach | Restaurant Worker, Vancouver
Andrew Codazzi | Cook, Vancouver
Gord Ingram | Dishwaser, Victoria
Genieve Morison | Server, Vancouver
Bonnie Mills | Bartender, White Rock
Aja Lamb-Hartley | Server, Vancouver
Rick Thompson | Meat cutter, Vancouver
Billy Wiseman | Forklift Operator, Kelowna
Melissa Grassmick | Sr. CSM, Kelowna
Hiro Hauata | Convention Centre Worker, Vancouver
Rossana Llorens | Hotel Worker, Vancouver
Melanie Atherton | Restaurant Worker, Kelowna
Shannon Elmer | Server, Vancouver
Anna Dawson | Housekeeper, Prince George
Kyle Bryant | Bartender, Vancouver
Audrey Lochrie | Educator, Kimberley
Irvin Walkes | Club Bartender, Vancouver
Lyndon Siemens | Restaurant worker, Kelowna
Bernice Podd | Hotel Worker-retired, Vancouver
Don Martyn | Hotel Worker, Kelowna
Tim Zhai | Hotel Worker, Vancouver
Shelley Page | Hotel Worker, Kamloops
Marcio Moreno | Server, Vancouver
Tina Bacon | Baker, Mission
Wes Dirksen | VP Sales, Cobble Hill
Angela LaForge | Dishwasher, Campbell River
Natascha Nygren | Server, Vancouver
Nouria Gagne | Server, Vancouver
Jayne Pnevmatikos | Bartender, Server, Vancouver
Vicki Ralston | Liquor Store Employee, Nanaimo
Trevor Phillips | Restaurant Worker, Vancouver
Julie Snow | Server, Pender Island
Nolan Murphy | Chef, Nanaimo
Lynn Skates | Pub Worker, Nanaimo
Tina Overgaard | Restaurant Worker, Ucuelet
Oracle Annan | Restaurant Worker, Vancouver
Amber Doud | Restaurant Worker, Langley
Jean Jacques Kabuya | Restaurant Worker, Maple Ridge
Owen Lightly | Chef, Vancouver
Stephen Dutt | Pub Worker, Coquitlam
Tyler Greentree | Restaurant Worker, Vancouver
Veronica Traplin | Restaurant Worker, Qualicum Beach
Tim Fukushima | Brewmaster, Victoria
Ian Johnstone | Chef, Qualicum Beach
Karen Olnyk | Restaurant & Pub Worker, Victoria
Cole Carter | Restaurant Worker, Vancouver
Terry Folkstaad | Restaurant Worker, Penticton
Sara Craig | Hotel Cook, Victoria
Dawn Marie Morgan | Private Caterer, Vancouver
Matthew Loring | Cook, Salmon Arm
Anika Rajala | Cook, Kamloops
Teresa Evans | Journalist, Vancouver
Darlana Marshall | Restaurant Worker, Coquitlam
Zaanneta Zaalberg | Bartender, Ladysmith
Sherry Winstanley | Pub Worker, Langley
Charlie Schmietenknop | Son, Bar Manager, Vancouver
Kevin Ng Banquet | Employee, Coquitlam
Bernie Remmert | Hotel Employee, Vancouver
Paul LaGrange | Winery Employee, Kelowna
Carol Klyne | Hotel Worker, Richmond
Paul Lysak | Pub Owner/ Operator, Kelowna
Tina Fineza | Chef, Vancouver
Ronald Foran | Hotel Worker, Vancouver
Dane Szohner | Bartender, Vancouver
Melanie Therrien | Restaurant Cook, Vernon
Tanelle Bolt | Pub Worker, Langford
Jack McKee | Hotel Worker, Kelowna
Michael Benedek | Hospitality Media, Vancouver
Justin Skidmore | Restaurant Manager, Victoria
Wendee Copeland | Hotel Manager, Osoyoos
Ian Wharton | Restaurant Worker, Vancouver
Becky Cameron | Restaurant Worker, Whistler
Serge Labelle | Hotel Worker, Vancouver
Josh Nidzgorski | Bartender, Vancouver
Darcy Murdoch | Private Catering, Vancouver
Jessica Banford | Server, Nanaimo
Eric Son | Server, Vancouver
Rachel Wilson | Restaurant Manager, Vancouver
Brooke Erickson | Server, Vancouver
Andy Coghlan | Restaurant Worker, Vancouver
Steve Lobsinger | Wine Director, Vancouver
Kelly Sarmiento | Server, Vancouver
Kim Hollingham | Food Supplier Employee, Coquitlam
Janice Tayner | Wine Agency Employee, Chilliwack
Ashlyn Laing | Daughter, Hotel Worker, Kelowna
Shelley Heituma | Food Service Sales, Chilliwack
Jim Hickman | Pub Worker, Whistler
Alicia Appleton | Restaurant Worker, Nanaimo
Dave Hawkins | Pub Worker, North Vancouver
Frank Clements | Hotel Bartender, Vancouver
Sarah Adamson | Resort Worker, Invermere
Bruce James | Pub Worker, Vancouver
Glen Yuen | Server, Victoria
Teresa Acosta | Restaurant Worker, Vancouver
Frank Georgas | Cook, Vancouver
Brenda Derkacz | Wife, Restaurant Manager, Vancouver
Nathalie St. Pierre | Banquet Supervisor, Vancouver
Charles Zuckermann | Restaurant Manager, Vancouver
10 Hospitality Scholarships
Anne Taylor | Hotel Employee, Vancouver
Winnie Lam | Foodservice Supplier, Vancouver
Rebecca Young | Daughter, Restaurant Workers, Penticton
Wendy Collin | Pub Worker, Nanaimo
Michael Willingham | Wine Agent, Vancouver