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Cheesecakes for Carpentry: Richard Byers Memorial Bursary

The Byers family at Burntcoat Head Park in August 2020. From left to right: Philicity (Phil) Byers, Jenna Byers, Bernadette (Bern) Byers, Laura Byers, Richard Byers, Darryl Pike, Michelle Byers, Jake, Nicole Byers, Cat Shears, Brenda Tanner, Olivia Byers, and Scott Bailey.
The Byers family at Burntcoat Head Park in August 2020. From left to right: Philicity (Phil) Byers, Jenna Byers, Bernadette (Bern) Byers, Laura Byers, Richard Byers, Darryl Pike, Michelle Byers, Jake, Nicole Byers, Cat Shears, Brenda Tanner, Olivia Byers, and Scott Bailey.

Fundraising through nostalgia

During the holiday season, the Byers family hosted a cheesecake raffle to fundraise for the Richard Byers Memorial Bursary, an award they established in their dad’s memory to support Carpentry students at his alma mater, NSCC’s Lunenburg Campus. Raising over $3,000 to help establish an endowment for the award, the raffle also honoured an old family tradition of using their homemade cheesecake to help fundraise for community-based initiatives.

Richard’s daughters, Laura, Michelle, Nicole, Olivia and Philicity (Phil), grew up playing in the Lunenburg Junior/Senior High School band. Each year at their annual Christmas and Spring Band Concerts, there was a dessert auction where their mother’s famous cheesecake was one of the highest bidding auction items.

Richard’s generous spirit and love for cheesecake were undeniable at the auctions, as he was often the winning bidder. “Dad would sometimes pay more than $100 for a dessert, and knowing it went back to the band program made it worth it,” says Olivia.

Caring for community

The nostalgia for Richard’s community spirit and their mom’s delicious cheesecakes made the raffle a success, selling 314 tickets to win one of ten cheesecakes. Making them one step closer to their goal of $30,000 to establish an endowment for the award, with over $13,000 raised since fundraising began in April 2022.

In addition to the award’s financial gift, the family is offering mentorship to award recipients as well. Richard was known for teaching and helping others, often mentoring people without experience at his carpentry business, a tradition the family plans to continue through this award. “We want to provide them with a team of mentors and advisors to help them start and grow a business,” says Michelle. “It would be really special to see a student get the bursary and take advantage of it.”

Show your support

Help the Byers family carry on their dad’s legacy. Donate online to the Richard Byers Memorial Bursary today.

In addition to donating, Phil says you can show your support by “giving it a share on social media, spreading it by word of mouth, buying tickets to future fundraisers, and enjoying the memories of our dad with us.”

Donate today

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