Community

A party with purpose

 Milestones Langley staff volunteer their time at the first annual Autism Awareness Night held April 29 at the restaurant.  - Miranda GATHERCOLE/Langley Times
Milestones Langley staff volunteer their time at the first annual Autism Awareness Night held April 29 at the restaurant.
— image credit: Miranda GATHERCOLE/Langley Times

 

In an effort to become involved in the community and to get to know their regulars, Milestones Langley has embarked on a new mission of philanthropy. Their staff has joined together to host three fundraisers for local charities so far this year, raising an incredible $17,700.

With more fundraisers planned in the coming months, the restaurant is looking to help as many local organizations as possible.

“I really believe in paying it back to the community,” said Chris Bradburn, general manager at Milestones Langley. “We’re a milestone within the community, we’ve been here for 15 years. This year really was the year to get people out and really reach out to the community. And it’s been absolutely phenomenal. What’s really been great is getting to know our community and our regulars.”

What started as a simple idea to hold a regulars party, as the restaurant used to do years ago, snowballed into a series of very successful fundraisers, first for Valley Therapeutic Equestrian Association, followed by Movember in November and an Autism Awareness Night in April.

“Instead of making it just a party, we wanted to make it a party with purpose,” Bradburn said.

Their latest event on April 29 hit very close to home for one employee in particular. Manager David Baskin’s son has autism. For him, the event meant the world.

“I’m overwhelmed beyond words. In a state of awe with my colleagues and my peers, and the community in general towards this event. I can’t say enough, I get choked up just thinking about it,” he said.

His six-year-old son, Jack, was diagnosed with autism at the age of three. Baskin said that had it not been for early intervention and help from a variety of therapists, Jack would still be struggling with basic functions such as speech.

Instead he has blossomed from having a four-word vocabulary at the age of two to now being enroled in French Immersion at school.

“I know firsthand how early intervention and the facilities that (these organizations) offer and the camps and getting kids iPads can unlock their world,” he said. “These kids are filled with love and they are filled with laughter and light and through early intervention and through these programs these kids really get an opportunity to really enjoy that about themselves and enjoy a world that some of us may take for granted.”

All the staff who worked at the Austism Awareness Night donated their tip money to the cause and signed themselves up for the shift. No one was put on schedule to work that night. The managers even put the call out to their sister restaurants to help out, and had volunteer servers from three other Milestones locations, the general manager from Coza Tuscan Grill in Langley and even guest chefs who served tables for the very first time.

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