UPDATE: 5:30 p.m., Jan. 29
Central Kitchen and Bar owners presented the $10,000 cheque to Elara and her family on Wednesday at B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver.
Restaurant owner Jared Lee said he’ll never forget the special moment between him and Elara’s family today.
“It was very emotional to say the least. During the visit, we chatted with the family and explained the overwhelming turnout from the fundraiser that we had over the weekend,” said Lee.
“After we gave them the cheque, Elara’s family just broke down in happiness.”
Lee said it was great to see the excitement from Elara as they handed over the cheque.
“Elara was really warm towards Devon Murray (the other owner) and me.”
“She gave us all hugs. That was pretty special for us.”
With the $10,000 donation, over $30,000 has been raised for Elara’s treatment process.
Two restaurant owners have pulled through for Kelowna resident Elara Isagawa, a one-year-old girl who was diagnosed with a tumour by doctors December 24.
Last weekend, Kelowna Central Kitchen and Bar owners Jared Lee and Devon Murray held a silent auction and burger fundraiser at their restaurant for Elara to help raise money for her treatment process.
Now, the owners head to B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver on Wednesday to present the family with the donation cheque.
While Lee said he can’t reveal the donation amount until the cheque is presented to the family, he said the generosity shown by Kelownians at the event was overwhelming.
“When we saw the outpouring of support from people donating between $20 and $500, it was amazing,” said Lee.
“Nobody knows this, but we actually raised our fundraising goal when we saw all the support.”
Last December, Elara underwent a major 6.5-hour surgery to remove 98 per cent of the tumour.
She will now need four months of chemotherapy to completely remove the rest of it.
Lee said the fundraiser occurred at the restaurant because of the Isagawa family’s personal connection to it.
“Nico and Jessica (Elara’s parents) met and had their first date at our restaurant,” said Lee. “Soon after, they got engaged and had some of their engagement photos done at the bar. When they got married, Elara followed shortly after.”
On top of the donation amount raised from the event, a GoFundMe started on Dec. 24 by the family has also raised over 21,000 for Elara’s treatment.
A Comedy for a Cause event is also planned forMarch to help raise money for Elara’s treatment.