Fleetwood father organizes cask fundraiser for Surrey Memorial Hospital

SURREY — There are a few things Scott Graham is passionate about – his daughter, craft beer and giving back.

All three passions are the motivation behind an event the Fleetwood resident is organizing at Big Ridge Brewing to raise money for Surrey Memorial Hospital.

Graham’s now four-year-old daughter Hayley spent time in the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) as an infant. Born at 25 weeks – roughly 14-and-a-half weeks premature – his daughter needed special care after making her way into the world and Graham said the care she received was exemplary.

And just a couple of months ago, Graham found himself again praising the staff at the hospital when his daughter had a close call.

scott graham

"She had a near drowning incident at a family member’s pool. She fell in and was left unattended for a few minutes. They pulled her out and thought everything was fine and didn’t really tell us about it until the next day," Graham said.

After noticing Hayley’s behaviour didn’t seem quite right, his wife took her to the emergency room and it turned out she had what’s called secondary drowning.

"It’s when you get water in your lungs. I guess she took a big breath in when she fell into the pool and got water in her lungs and it just sort of sits in there and can turn into pneumonia and you basically slowly drown without being under water," he noted.

Graham said words can’t express the gratitude he feels for the hospital, and he felt compelled to give back. But it’s not the first time he has. He’s organized other fundraising events in the past in partnership with Big Ridge Brewing – some for the hospital and others for the Variety Club.

Wondering how the craft beer fits in? Graham runs the South Fraser Beer Club’s blog (at sfbeerclub.wordpress.com) and he certainly appreciates the art of the brew.

"I’m fairly active in the local craft beer scene, so that’s why Big Ridge has become the go-to place," he said. "It’s good for them to get people out there and we want to promote local businesses and we don’t like mass produced stuff."

Graham also founded the blog WFLBC. com. Though it started as a food blog, it’s transformed to include Graham’s love of architecture, which he photographs during his travels to various cities such as Vancouver, Richmond, Victoria and, of course, his native Surrey.

And he’s got a decent audience – on Twitter WFLBC has more than 4,100 followers. He wishes he could blog fulltime, but by day he works as an elevator mechanic, taking to the blog on his time off when he visits many a destination with his daughter in tow.

"I have a regular job and I don’t really need to do that stuff. So I figure if I have any kind of influence at all, I might as well use it for something good," he said of his fundraising efforts.

The Casks for Surrey Memorial event, hosted in partnership between Big Ridge Brewing and South Fraser Beer Club, is set for Aug. 28 at 6 p.m. at the brewery, at 5580 152 St. No tickets are required.

Big Ridge will be running a free shuttle from King George SkyTrain, and its regular area. Call 778-938-7433 to schedule a pickup.

There will be a DJ, raffle and door prizes, a silent auction and a 50/50 draw, with 100 per cent of proceeds going to the hospital. And of course, there will be casks of local craft beer on hand – one from Big Ridge and one from Surrey’s Russell Brewing.

For more details, search for the Casks for Surrey Memorial event on Facebook.

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