Every day, individuals in B.C.’s hospitality industry serve you. They are your baristas, concierges, hotel staff, cooks, winery and brewery workers, waiters, bartenders and wine salespeople. While providing hospitality can be rewarding, many jobs in the industry are part-time and some can have minimal benefits.
In 2006, the committee that would eventually form the BC Hospitality Foundation (BCHF) came together, inspired by the desire to help a long-time wine agent, Michael Willingham, who needed $50,000 for a machine to help him breathe on his own at night after a debilitating stroke. The machine was not covered by his medical plan.
Willingham’s situation brought forward the need to establish funding that could be used to help tourism and hospitality industry workers, who required additional support due to illness or accident to themselves or a family member.
Since 2006, the BCHF has provided over $1.3 million in support—one million dollars helped over 254 hospitality workers. The foundation also designed a scholarship program in 2009 to foster the development of the next generation of workers and industry leaders. This program has granted almost 300 scholarships worth over $330,000.
They receive no funding from the government. Currently, the BCHF relies on donations and lotteries to continue its work.
To support The British Columbia Hospitality Foundation and get a chance to win prizes, consider purchasing a ticket for their 50/50 raffle at www.bchospitality5050.ca. The raffle ends on Nov. 15, 2021, at 11:59 p.m.