When Ucluelet local Shamie Adeken met six-year-old Soma Prittipaul during a philanthropic trip to Guyana last year, she vowed to do whatever she could to support the young girl who is living with a severe heart condition.
When she returned home to Ucluelet, she found a community ready to help shoulder the load.
Adeken has turned her 4-Spice Restaurant on Peninsula Road into a fundraising vessel to support Soma, whose heart condition requires expensive treatment that she and her family must travel out of town to receive.
Somaâ€™s next hospital stay is scheduled for Feb. 26 to April 2 next year and Adeken hopes to cover the bill by raising $2,500.
â€œThat will make a comfortable stay for them and pay for the treatment,â€ she told the Westerly last week.
The Westerly reported on Adekenâ€™s efforts to help Soma earlier this month and, since then, Adeken has put all donations into a large water jug. While she has not yet tallied the jugâ€™s bounty, she has been overwhelmed by the communityâ€™s support.
â€œI am much more than happy, Iâ€™m excited. I donâ€™t have words to describe how I feel,â€ she said. â€œI want to say thank you to Ucluelet for your generous, generous, support.â€
Adekenâ€™s $2,500 goal took a significant leap towards reality recently when Uclueletâ€™s Andrea Murray presented Adeken with a $1,000 cheque to Somaâ€™s cause
â€œI want to thank Andrea and her family, I really do appreciate it,â€ Adeken said. â€œGod bless them.â€
Adeken said her fundraising efforts are not always focused overseas, but are predominantly pointed in the direction of children.
â€œThis fundraising that Iâ€™m doing is not just for South America or for my country or for kids far away from here,â€ she said. â€œOur fundraising starts here at home.â€
During her time in Ucluelet, she has been a consistent supporter and sponsor of Missing Kids Magazine.
â€œWeâ€™ve sponsored this for the past five years and we want to bring home all those kids that have gone missing and have been taken away,â€ she said.
She said Ucluelet has been a consistent source of support for her fundraising efforts.
â€œItâ€™s meant the world to me because kids are our future and we need to support them and we need to make sure theyâ€™re okay,â€ she said. â€œWe start one at a time and just take care of one of them and then move on, just step by step one at a time and we go from there.â€
Adeken will be temporarily closing up shop at 4-Spice next week but before she closes the doors she will make one final push for Soma support and every penny spent at 4-Spice this weekendâ€”Friday, Saturday and Sundayâ€”will be put in Somaâ€™s fund.
â€œWhatever business that comes in is all going towards this…100 per cent of it,â€ she said.