The staff at The Roster are excited to give back with the sports club’s Dish Out the Kindness fundraising initiative in support of the Upper Room Mission and the Starfish Backpack program. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

Vernon sports club dishes out kindness

Upper Room Mission and Starfish Backpack Program will benefit from The Roster sales

Feeding the less fortunate is on the roster this year.

The holidays are a season for giving and that is something The Roster Sports Club Bar & Grill is on a quest to do as it launches Dish Out the Kindness – a monthlong fundraising initiative in December to support two local charities.

The Roster’s fundraiser will raise much-needed funds to support Upper Room Mission and the Kalamalka Starfish Pack Program, both offer food support in Vernon.

With any regular-priced entrée purchased for dine in or take out, Saturday through Wednesday throughout December, the Roster will donate $5 towards a $5,000 goal.

In addition, the club will be donating $5 from all gift certificate purchases of $50 or more throughout December. Proceeds will be evenly split between the two charities.

“In tough times when many businesses are struggling, charities are often hit the hardest and both these organizations are very important to our community,” owner Hussein Hollands said. “We felt we needed to do our part. As a restaurant, we are in the business of feeding people and we feel it’s important to give back by feeding the hungry.”

Over the past 40 years, the Upper Room Mission has served countless meals to those in need. The Starfish Program provides backpacks with two breakfasts, two lunches, two dinners, and snacks to hungry students each weekend of the school year.

“The Mission does not receive government funding and relies on donations and community support to operate,” URM general manager Naomi Rouck said. “We are so grateful to The Roster for their support.”

Starfish Packs recognizes that many students rely on school breakfast and lunch programs to fill their tummy onschool days.

“When it comes to the weekend, they don’t have the food they need. Starfish Packs was designed to change that,” program co-chair Krista Blankley. “We are humbled by the support and are thrilled to see Rosters help in this time of need.”

The Roster restaurant manager Rachel Rejc added that while restaurants are struggling financially due to the pandemic, support from club members, restaurant patrons and the local community, have made a significant difference. The addition of a back lounge has allowed for more seating to help customers maintain social distancing, while adding new activities like spikeball and table tennis have brought in new people to the sports club.

“To survive in these times, businesses have to be innovative and look at ways to diversify,” said Rejc. “But a significant factor in our viability has been the support local movement, which has allowed many businesses to stay open and we are so grateful to the community for their continued support. In turn, The Roster wants to do our part and support locally as well.”

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