Here is a unique invitation: come out to a Lobster Boil on June 6th and help save the lives of a young Syrian refugee couple and their two toddlers who are fleeing the atrocities of ISIS in Syria. For just $50 per ticket, you will be treated to a full buffet prepared by Chef Matt MacDonald, including clam chowder, a whole lobster, and a spread of sumptuous hot and cold dishes, finishing off with fresh strawberry shortcake. Great music will be provided by Fiddlejam and Richard Caissie. Salish Sea Foods has donated an oyster bar, plus there will be a cash bar and silent auction.

How did this odd pairing come about? Lobster and Syrian refugees? The idea was the brain child of the Comox Valley Refugee Support Committee, a small but dedicated and diverse group of humanitarians which has come together to carry on the Comox Valley’s long history of being an extraordinary community of caring, welcome, and compassion. Funds are needed to sponsor the Syrian family to come to Canada from Algeria, where they have managed to flee. Committee member, Caron Mulgrew, proposed a “Maritimes-style, down home, grassroots Lobster Boil. East Meets West. Nothing ostentatious, just the kind of gathering where you chow down on lobster, wear a lobster bib and then toss out the tablecloth at the end. Everyone has to experience this at least once!”

Caron’s enthusiasm stems from the fact that her husband, Darren, personally knows the young Syrian family, as he worked in the oilfields of Syria with the father of this family before ISIS invaded. The CV Refugee Committee, a constituent group under the auspices of Settlement Agreement Holder, the Diocese of Vancouver, has been approved to sponsor this family through Canada Immigration and Citizenship (CIC). The committee also hopes to help at least two other Syrian families who are still trapped in Syria and are, therefore, not able to be recognized as refugees by the United Nations (UNHCR) at present.

The CV Refugee Support Committee has committed to raise at least $40,000 in order to fully support this young family for a minimum of one year, as part of the government of Canada’s Syrian refugee program (in which Canada has agreed to take 10,000 Syrian refugees, a small percentage of the 10 million Syrians displaced by the war). To date, almost half of the needed funds have been raised locally through charitable donations and fundraising. The family may arrive as early as this summer as their papers are being processed in Paris.

Tickets to the June 6th Lobster Boil at Christ the King Church (1599 Tunner Drive in Courtenay) are $50 each and are now available at the church office Mon.- Fri. 8 am – noon and 1 – 3 PM, as well as at the Laughing Oyster Bookstore on 5th St. in Courtenay, and Red Carpet Consignment at the corner of Anderton and Comox Ave. in Comox. Charitable donations may be made through Christ the King Church or www.CanadaHelps under “Comox Valley Refugee Committee”. Members of the public who would like to help the committee are encouraged to contact Caron at mulgrewd@shaw.ca for more information.