Tanelle Bolt

Hospitality community rallies around injured woman

Darcy’s hosting benefit concert for staffer who’s part of the ‘family’

Tanelle Bolt’s life changed forever this August when she jumped into the Gordon River from an overhead bridge and broke her mid-back, suffering severe spinal cord damage.

Since her recent prognosis of life in a wheelchair, Bolt’s family, friends and her workmates at Darcy’s Pub have rallied in support around her.

The West Shore pub and restaurant is hosting a benefit concert Oct. 5 to help Bolt with medical costs that are quickly mounting.

Manager Justin Sparks said he happened to be talking to a regular customer who’s also in a wheelchair, and began to realize how expensive the whole situation could become for Bolt, especially if she’s not able to work for some time.

“It costs way more than you think,” Sparks said. “You get some funding, but even a decent wheelchair can cost $8,000. I thought I at least wanted to fundraise enough to help (Tanelle) get a wheelchair.”

Sparks started putting together the concert with the goal of raising the needed cash. He got a huge boost when mutual friend Alexa Palmer told him of a grant offered by the B.C. Hospitality Foundation, an organization that offers financial assistance to those in the industry trying to cope with a health or medical crisis.

“Usually they donate between $3,500 and $5,000,” Sparks said. But after speaking with CEO Alan Sacks about Bolt’s extreme circumstances, the foundation offered to match the fundraiser’s donations up to $10,000.

“It’s huge,” said Sparks, adding he’s incredibly grateful for their support.

The Sunday night benefit concert runs from 6 p.m. to midnight and features performances by Jesse Roper, Sam Weber, Bucko & Toad and Johnny Galactic. So far more than $5,000 worth of items have been donated for a silent auction by dozens of local and provincial companies, including a pair of tickets for next year’s SunFest with stage passes to meet Keith Urban.

Greg Adams, founder of the music festival, also plans to donate $2,500 at the benefit, which will go a long way towards achieving the fundraising goal, Sparks said.

Having known Bolt for about three years, he said she’s always been very hardworking and disciplined and always eager to lend a hand.

“She has a very positive attitude and lots of energy. She’s a very ambitious young woman,” he said.

“She’s part of the family,” added fellow Darcy’s manager Danielle Dekay. “She would do anything for us in the same regard.”

For her part, Bolt is trying to make it over for the benefit, though she’s still currently in rehab in Vancouver.

“She’s trying,” said Sparks. “Her goal is to be here for it.”

A free shuttle to Langford will leave the Wharf Street Darcy’s location at 6:30 p.m. It makes the return trip downtown at 11:30.

Tickets are $20 and are available at ticketzone.com, or in person from either Darcy’s location, The Duke Saloon and Upstairs Cabaret.

For more information, call Darcy’s West Shore at 250-391-8597.

acowan@goldstreamgazette.com