The Downtown Eastside may not always be synonymous with family-friendly activities, but on Saturday, July 26, Oppenheimer Park will be a family destination for the community as Union Gospel Mission hosts its 16th annual summer BBQ, complete with a kids’ mini-carnival. Kids can enjoy a bouncy castle, face painting, a myriad of games and, of course, cotton candy while kids and adults alike enjoy the delicious food and the music.
UGM has partnered with local business, Concert Properties, to provide a large part of the funds, the supplies and many engaged volunteers to help run the event. Together the groups are prepared to serve upwards of 5,000 BBQ meals helping make summer memorable for so many who struggle day to day.
“We are fortunate to have employees that embrace our values and are willing to donate their time,” said Brian McCauley, president and COO of Concert Properties. “This very worthwhile event for the residents of the Downtown Eastside is one of the most important initiatives we could be part of.”
Concert isn’t new to community involvement. During the company’s 25 years, Concert has donated funds for community gardens and parks, held pancake breakfasts for area residents, built homes for Habitat for Humanity, and volunteered for several non-profit building projects.
“So much of what UGM offers it isn’t actually about the meal, but it’s where everything starts,” explains Bruce Curtiss, Senior Chaplain. “This event gives us a chance to provide respite and practical care to those in need, and to build a relationship of trust and community.
This year, UGM is stepping up into an area that both Concert and UGM are passionate about—being better stewards of the environment. Working with Recyclable Alternatives, UGM will have eight stations with breakdowns of recyclable items: organics, paper and mixed plastics.
When: Saturday, July 26
Time: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Oppenheimer Park (Cordova Street between Dunlevy and Jackson)
UGM is in need of more volunteers to fill two shifts: 10 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. or 1 to 4:30 p.m. Email volunteers [at] ugm.ca to sign up.
UGM is also in need of summer gear. If you have any of these items you’re able to donate, visit www.ugm.ca to contact them.