Featured Vancouverite: Cheryl Kwok

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Hometown: Hong Kong

How long have been a Vancouverite?
 I’ve been here since Grade 6.

Occupation:
I am currently enrolled in the Masters of Applied Legal Studies program at SFU and am studying to become a Notary Public in British Columbia. I also work part-time as a conveyancer at a Notary Public’s office in Vancouver.

Even with your busy work and grad school schedule, you are very active in the volunteer community in Vancouver. Can you tell us a bit about the organizations that you collaborate with and what you feel are the biggest benefits of volunteer work?
I am currently the President of the Vancouver Diamond Lions Club (VDLC), and was a committee member for the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation 20th Anniversary for Children We Care Gala this year.

VDLC is comprised of a group of dedicated volunteers who plan and participate in various service and fundraising projects for charity organizations throughout the province. Some of the charities we fundraise and volunteer for are: BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, Make-a-Wish Foundation, Canadian Cancer Society and the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. There are definitely days when I feel like I have too much on my plate between work, school and these events, but when I see the impact and difference that our events make, all of the effort feels that much more worthwhile.

So far this year, my club has raised over $30,000 for different charities and I am very grateful to those who have supported us. When it comes to charity it is my firm belief that no effort is too small – everything makes a difference. Every dollar you donate or every hour you put into volunteering helps someone in need.

Volunteering has made me more understanding, knowing that sometimes people are just unlucky and not all things are preventable or deserved. I ask myself, what if one day that was me? I would want others to help and understand, as well.

For someone who is looking to become more involved in the city in this capacity, are there websites or resources that you would suggest that they look into?
There are so many organizations and events that could use your time and support! Every bit helps, and sometimes it’s easy to reach contribution goals by doing things as simple as buying one less coffee a week.

If you have an idea on how to make your community better, don’t hide it, don’t be afraid to try it, and definitely don’t let anyone tell you that you are too young because maybe there are others out there who share your vision and would support your goal as well. Lions Club members abide by the motto of “We Serve”, so if you wish to serve your community and do your part, please feel free to contact any Lions Club in your community or any other charitable organizations that you feel are close to your heart.

If someone were visiting Vancouver for a total of 12 hours on a sunny day in May, what would you recommend that they do with their time to get the most out of their visit to the city?
This would be my recommended itinerary for the day:
Start off by visiting Granville Island, have a quick patio brunch or just sit on the wooden steps outside of the food court and befriend some seagulls. Then, go for a leisurely bike ride around the seawall through Stanley Park. Stop by English Bay to marvel at the view. Take a city sightseeing tour of our downtown (check out the central library) and enjoy the many food carts around. Then you could dress up and have dinner at a fancy restaurant on Robson Street. If you still have energy after and want experience the multiculturalism in Vancouver, I would suggest hitting up Richmond to enjoy the various desserts the city has to offer. Vancouver is a foodie haven.

What are your top three venues for the best eats in the city?
I am known to not know how to cook anything except for microwaving my cereal so I do enjoy eating out!

Wings Pub and Grill for their sweet Thai flavored wings and chunky chocolate chip cookie à la mode.

Phnom Penh for the deep fried chicken wings, durian milkshake and beef luc lac (fried) rice (I eat this same meal every time).

Beta5 Chocolates for their cream puffs – especially the raspberry Earl Grey cream puff.

Do you know someone who would be a great featured Vancouverite? Let us know in the comment box below!

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