Cilantro and Chive recently handed out the second annual Donald and Clare Burns Hospitality Scholarship to Culinary Supervisor and Kitchen Leader Scott Wack.
General Manager Jason Burns — who’s parents the scholarship is named after — said it is a remarkable thing to award the $1,500 scholarship to Wack — who has been with the company for over four years.
Burns said Wack only recently decided to pursure culinary school at Red Deer College.
”He has gone through some big challenges in his life to get where he is. His story is incredible and it really touched us all,” he said.
The scholarship is selected by Burns and his siblings, who last their parents Donald and Clare over the course of the last three years. The scholarship is in memory of the Burns’ commitment to their community and creating a welcoming place for friends, families and other guests who came through their home.
“Riely and Kim (Kay) knew the affect that losing my parents had on me and the more they found out about my parents roles in hospitality and how that impacted me, the more they wanted to introduce this scholarship,” he said
Burns said it was very emotional when the Kay’s approached them about creating thi scholarship and he is proud to be able to honour his parents, and also help spur along the dreams of their staff at Cilantro and Chive and Moe’s Pizza.
“We are trying to do our best to coach and mentor young adults to give them great steps towards their future,” he said.
Burns said it has been hard to select just one recipient each year, with each submission being something he and his family take great care and pride going through.
“It is really fun being able to talk about the different young people and what they are doing with their lives. The hard part is we then have to choose someone,” he said.
Burns thanked the Kays for continuing on with the scholarship, despite the struggles created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
”We will continue this years going forward. I am excited to see our new employees start thinking that ‘this could be me next year’,” he said.
We can’t doing the things we are doing like this. If we stop doing that, we are not in it for the right reasons anymore.
He added, “I am incredibly proud of Scott because his hard work is paying off.”