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UGM partners with Concert Properties to serve 5,000 meals in the DTES as part of the 16th Annual Summer BBQ

Vancouver, BC — On Saturday, July 26, Union Gospel Mission’s biggest annual event returns! The “backyard” BBQ for the Downtown Eastside community takes place in one of Downtown Eastside’s best kept secrets—the oceanfront, Crab Park. This event is made possible thanks to Vancouver-based business, Concert Properties. Having also been the title sponsor last year, Concert will not only provide the majority of funds required to serve the 5,000 meals; they will provide 100 volunteers as well.

The community event offers a host of family-friendly activities such as a bouncy castle, face painting, a myriad of mini-carnival games, and of course, cotton candy. Kids and adults alike can enjoy the music and delicious food. Like UGM’s other large community meals, the BBQ helps make the season fun and memorable for so many who struggle day to day. But its potential impact is actually much more profound. UGM meals are a chance for those struggling with homelessness, addiction and chronic poverty to connect with UGM outreach workers, and to become acquainted with the assistance available to them.

Jennifer, a graduate of UGM’s Women’s Recovery Program, is a perfect example of how a community meal can be the start of transformation. At the lowest point in her life, while she was broken, barely coherent and living on the streets, Jennifer was brought to UGM for Thanksgiving dinner. While there, she got connected, and it wasn’t long before she entered UGM’s recovery program, found her sobriety, and a few years later got her son back. Last month she spoke at the opening of UGM’s Sanctuary Program. Her two sons were at her side, thriving in school and in her household.

Thanks to businesses like Concert Properties, this year’s BBQ offers that chance for more “Jennifers” to get connected to the help they need.

“Giving back has been part of Concert’s DNA from the very beginning,” says Brian McCauley, President and Chief Operating Officer of Concert Properties. “Within every aspect of our organization – and with the enthusiastic support of very member of the Concert team – we work to make a difference in our community whether that’s through in-kind donations, direct financial support or all-staff volunteer days with socially-minded organizations.”

During the company's 25 years, Concert has donated funds for community gardens and parks, held pancake breakfasts for area residents, built homes for Habitat for Humanity, and volunteered for several non-profit building projects.

“We always say, miracles begin with a meal,” explains UGM President Bill Mollard. “Many of those who struggle in our community have lost trust and lost hope. When we meet a tangible need we build a connection — and that connect can be the start that transforms a life. We are so thankful to Concert for helping make this day possible.”
The Menu
• 5,000 chicken burgers
• 5,000 smokies
• 1,500 lbs coleslaw
• 1,500 lbs pasta salad
• 5,000 cans of pop
• 5,000 Freezies

BBQ Details
When: Saturday, July 26, 2014
Time: 11:00 am – 3:30 pm

Location: Crab Park 101, East Waterfront Road, Vancouver (@ Main Street)

Other Sponsors
• Canadian Web Hosting
• The 700 Club
• Wheelin’ Mobility – Will be fixing wheelchairs and scooters onsite

Environmental Impact
This year, UGM is stepping up into an area that both Concert and UGM are passionate about—being better stewards of the environment. Working with Recyclable Alternatives, UGM will have eight stations to help sort recyclable items such as organics, paper and mixed plastics.

About Union Gospel Mission
Union Gospel Mission has been feeding hope and changing the lives of men, women and children for over 70 years. Through its seven locations in Metro Vancouver and the city of Mission, UGM provides counselling, education, safe housing and alcohol and drug recovery 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 the lives of the broken and offer dignity to those who feel cast aside. To find out more, visit www.ugm.ca.

About Concert
With operations in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario, Concert is an award-winning diversified real estate enterprise with expertise in developing rental, condominium and seniors housing; developing and acquiring commercial, industrial and infrastructure properties; and property management. www.ConcertProperties.com

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