Lucas Stiefvater has committed to matching up to $50,000 in donations to his two favourite Comox Valley non-profits. Photo supplied

Lucas Stiefvater has committed to matching up to $50,000 in donations to his two favourite Comox Valley non-profits. Photo supplied

Comox Valley resident celebrating 50 years in Canada with donation match of up to $50k

Lucas Stiefvater has led a full life since that warm sunny morning in May 1972, when the bus he was on rolled into Vancouver.

Whitecaps greeted him, as snowcapped mountains twinkled in the distance. With the Vancouver skyline looming, he knew he had come home. All, a welcome sight after the trip of a lifetime – $99 for 99 days on the Greyhound Bus traversing Central and North America.

Born and raised in a small village in the Black Forest in Germany, Stiefvater never imagined the gifts that Canada would offer him. Lucas applied the training he received in Germany as a chef and in hotel management to the many opportunities that presented themselves over the past 50 years.

From a humble start as a waiter at the Hotel Georgia and night security at the Holiday Inn, Stiefvater was constantly on the look out for opportunity. In the early years he co-owned a chain of restaurants called the Copper Kettle in the Lower Mainland, and Clayoquot Lodge on Stubbs Island off the coast of Tofino. Opportunity took him to Hawaii, Smithers, Maple Ridge, Port Alberni, Courtenay and Campbell River. With his late wife Annemarie and their sons Daniel and Jordan, they created an amazing life.

In order to celebrate his 50 years in Canada, Stiefvater would like to give back to the community that is his home.

He has partnered with two charities that are near and dear to his heart, the Comox Valley Food Bank and the Comox Valley Land Trust. Anyone interested in helping Stiefvater celebrate and acknowledge the Comox Valley can donate to both or either of these charities and during the month of July. And to double the bang for your charitable buck, Stiefvater will match all donations up to $25,000 for each charity.

Donations are accepted at comoxvalleyfoodbank.ca/donate/ and/or cvlandtrust.ca/donate/

Just mention “In honour of Lucas” with your donation, to ensure the doubling process is applied.

Stiefvater, now retired with his wife Cheryl, looks back on the past 50 years, filled with a sense of both awe and gratitude.

“I experienced challenges and opportunities, good times and my share of tough times, laughter and tears and I would not change a single moment of it,” he said. “Canada is the best country on earth, and I am honoured to play in the most beautiful sandbox called Vancouver Island. I am blessed with an abundance of friends, and a large, blended family. I am the luckiest man alive.”

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