Bay Breeze Restaurant and Bar sustained significant damager after a Dec. 20 windstorm. (Laine White Facebook image)

VIDEO: Fundraiser held after Birch Bay restaurant destroyed by windstorm

Bay Breeze Restaurant and Bar sustained significant damage after Dec. 20 weather event

A benefit concert was held for a restaurant’s employees just south of the border, after the Bay Breeze Restaurant and Bar sustained significant damage as a result of a windstorm earlier this month.

Vicious winds and heavy waves hammered the eatery, located in Birch Bay, on Dec. 20.

The hide-tide waves caved windows into the restaurant, flooding most of the facility.

A benefit blues rock concern was held at The Beach at Birch Bay Thursday evening.

The Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office Division of Emergency Management released a statement last week, and held a public information session Dec. 27.

“Birch Bay and the wider Birch Bay Community was significantly impacted by the December 20th storm,” the statement read. “There have been homes and businesses seriously damaged and others have been flooded.”

According to the statement, attendees of the “After the Storm” information session were to hear a storm overview; the impacts to businesses, roads, infrastructure and residents; and the long-term impacts.

Nearby resident Laine White posted a video Dec. 20 to Facebook, showing some of the destruction caused by the storm that day.

“Heartbroken for my step mom and the other employees at bay breeze,” White wrote to Facebook. “This is in birch bay 20 minutes from our house. We live on Neptune beach close to the water, thank god our house is high up. So scary.”

North of the border, the White Rock Youth Ambassadors began taking action on a fundraising campaign to help repair and restore the city’s iconic pier, which was destroyed by waves and crashing boats Dec. 20.

White Rock Princess and Friendship Ambassador Emma-Rose Harvey told Peace Arch News Thursday that within three to four hours of the storm, all five of the ambassadors had responded to an email from co-ordinator Debbie Ward, suggesting they might be able to organize a pier-oriented community outreach project.

Harvey became point person in setting up a GoFundMe campaign that day to raise money for pier restoration efforts.

As of Sunday morning, the GoFundMe page has secured $880 of its $1 million goal.

While White Rock Mayor Darryl Walker has suggested publicly that repair and refurbishment of the more than 100-year-old structure will run into millions of dollars, Harvey said the ambassadors’ efforts will be focused on enhancing elements of the pier that are not covered by government funding.

“They are things like lights, archways, benches and memorial plaques, which were previously paid by for private donations,” she said.

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