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Summer BBQ Gives Downtown Eastside Opportunity to Celebrate Summer

Vancouver, B.C — Naomi Gabriel and her 5-year old daughter are desperate for a sense of summer joy. Amidst a sea of sadness and grief, The Downtown Eastside family is looking forward to a summer break.

“We’ve had a lot of friends and family members pass away down here – including my child’s father just before Christmas,” Naomi shares. “We need positive stuff, we need happy times.”

As a single mom on disability, Naomi can’t often treat her daughter to summer celebrations. But that will change this Saturday, July 14th, when UGM’s Summer BBQ sets up shop in Oppenheimer Park. The event will provide up to 4,000 meals for those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. With over 73% of kids living below the poverty line in the Downtown Eastside, family focused fun like bouncy castles, face painting and a mini-carnival of games will provide a taste of summer magic.

“Our community has seen a lot of devastating loss and heartache this year,” says UGM’s Nicole Mucci. “So providing a BBQ to build happy memories and restore hope is especially important. Especially for children like Naomi’s daughter, who deserve to feel excited about Summer.”

The event is made possible by Rogers Sugar Vancouver of Lantic Inc., which operates just around the corner from UGM.

The summer BBQ, for us at Rogers Sugar, is a humbling experience,” says Gary Mustvedt. “It raises our awareness of those in the Downtown Eastside and serves as a driver to lend a hand, or a kind word to those who need it.”

“There’ll be a lot of comfort at the BBQ,” says Naomi. “It’s something we look forward to.”


DATE:    Saturday, July 14th, 2018
TIME:    11–4 (Meals served from 11-3)
WHERE:   Oppenheimer Park  


  •       4,000 Hamburgers
  •       4,000 Smokies
  •       1,250 lbs. Coleslaw
  •       1,250 lbs. Pasta Salad
  •       4,000 Bottles of Water
  •       4,000 Freezies

Rogers Sugar Vancouver of Lantic Inc.

Nicole Mucci
[email protected]



Lantic Sugar Limited and Rogers Sugar Ltd. merged into a new operating entity now known as Lantic Inc., on June 30, 2008. The two companies had worked together as one for a number of years before the amalgamation. The finest traditions of both Sugar based companies form the foundation of a culture that is national in character and diverse in ambition. Rogers Vancouver, the former BC Sugar, is one of the three Lantic Sugar refining facilities. We have been in business since 1890 and recently celebrated 125 years of continuous operation. Milled Cane sugar is brought to the Port in bulk shipments; from it, the Refinery refines and produces a wide range of sugar and sugar containing products for consumers and industry, including the familiar retail ‘Rogers’ brands. Our website at can be accessed for further information.


Union Gospel Mission has been feeding hope and changing lives of men, women, youth, and children for more than 77 years. Through its seven locations in Metro Vancouver and the city of Mission, UGM provides meals, emergency shelter, career development counselling, clothing, education, safe housing, alcohol and drug recovery, and more to those struggling with poverty, homelessness and addiction. The heart of the mission is to demonstrate God’s transforming love, ease the burden of the most vulnerable, rebuild lives, and offer dignity to those who feel cast aside. To learn more, visit


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