Joseph Richard Group’s Ryan Moreno (right) and Matthew Stowe (second from right) at last year’s Vancouver Sleep Out event in support of Covenant House. (Photo: submitted/JRG)

‘Sleep Out’ fundraiser at three restaurants by employees of Surrey-based JRG chain

Company aims to raise $50,000 for Covenant House during events in November

SURREY — Operators of a Surrey-based restaurant/pub chain are bringing the “Sleep Out” fundraising initiative to three of its locations, including one in South Surrey.

On Nov. 16, Joseph Richard Group co-founders Ryan Moreno and Andre Bourque will be joined by chef Matthew Stowe during the annual Vancouver Sleep Out: Executive Edition event, in support of Covenant House’s Youth Crisis program.

Three days earlier, on Nov. 13, more than 100 employees of JRG are expected to spend a night sleeping on the street outside the chain’s S+L Kitchen & Bar South Surrey, and also at Townhall Maple Ridge and Oak & Thorne in Langley.

The company, which employs close to 950 people, aims to raise $50,000 for the charity during the two events.

“We are all fortunate to have a roof over our head and a bed to sleep in,” Moreno stated. “Last year, Matt and I spent a cold night on the street and got a glimpse into what a night is like for those who are less privileged. We also learned a great deal about the important work Covenant House does and how they support at-risk youth from around the Lower Mainland.”

It’s a cause that “struck a chord with our guests, as well as our employees, whose ages are largely the same as the young adults Covenant House helps,” Moreno added.

“I was so moved by the experience and felt that there had to be more that we could do. This year, we felt that, together, we could make a larger impact and encourage our guests and everyone in the Lower Mainland to get behind us and support Covenant House. We plan to make this an annual event and our hope is to also inspire other businesses, organizations and people within our communities to get involved.”

• RELATED STORY: S+L Kitchen & Bar to open at Morgan Crossing as third Joseph Richard Group venture in South Surrey/White Rock.

JRG will encourage donations by providing donors with a $25 gift card for every $50 they donate. Also, for any donation of $1,000 or more, JRG will offer dinner for up to six guests, hosted by Stowe, the company’s director of culinary operations and former winner of TV’s Top Chef Canada contest, or JRG corporate chef David Jorge, a MasterChef Canada winner.

The company’s Sleep Out donation page is posted at

• RELATED STORY: Stowe on steaks: Surrey’s ‘Top Chef Canada’ winner gives tips to get sizzling this season.

Covenant House Vancouver provides shelter, food, clothing and counselling to 1,400 young people through its drop-in, street outreach and residential programs.

“Our work, and the support of companies like the Joseph Richard Group make a tremendous difference in the lives of street youth in BC,” said Krista Thompson, the organization’s executive director.

“I want to thank everyone at JRG. We admire their commitment and creativity, and encourage their friends, families and patrons to support this worthwhile cause.”

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