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Restaurants cook up fundraiser to help employee


Popular Beaverton cook hit by stroke has long road to recovery

Walter Chun of Beaverton was a friendly, well-liked cook at two Portland-area restaurants for nearly a dozen years until his life was turned upside-down by a stroke in late February.

Next week, the two restaurants where he worked — Bugatti’s at Cedar Hills Crossing and the Cadillac Cafe in Northeast Portland — join to host an event to raise money for Chun’s family as he faces a tough battle with the stroke’s paralyzing effects. It’s the first time either restaurant has hosted a fundraiser for an employee. Most of the time, the businesses help other people and groups in the community raise money for causes and events, but this time it’s about “family.”

“This is different,” says Christine Rasmussen, general manager of Bugatti’s at Cedar Hills Crossing. “Walter’s part of the family.”

“So many people enjoy working with him,” says Rod Brackenbury, a partner in the Cadillac Cafe. “He’s just a wonderful person, humorous and always upbeat and positive. We just want to try to help him out as much as possible.”

The fundraiser is from 5:30 to 8 Wednesday, May 15, at the Cadillac Cafe, 1801 N.E. Broadway. It costs $20 per person and features music by the Kat Cosgrove Trio, an auction and raffle with prizes like a two-night stay at the Riverhouse in Bend or a couple nights at the Ocean Lodge in Cannon Beach.

Brackenbury says the restaurants hope to raise between $3,000 and $4,000 to help Chun’s family meet some expenses while he recovers from the stroke.

Positive outlook

The 42-year-old Chun was hit by the stroke on Feb. 20. It left him partially paralyzed on his left side, making it impossible for him to continue working two jobs.

For 11 years, Chun worked as a day cook for the Cadillac Cafe, which serves breakfast and lunch. For eight years, Chun worked as an evening cook at Bugatti’s in Beaverton.

Chun and his wife, Iida, have three daughters, the youngest is 1½ years old.

“He’s a great co-worker and very friendly,” Rasmussen says. “He’s staying positive and recovering.”

Brackenbury says Chun has regained some feeling in his left leg and some movement of his left arm and maintains a good outlook.

“He has a long road ahead of him,” Brackenbury says. “His attitude and outlook is really inspiring.”

What: Fundraiser for Walter Chun's family

When: 5:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 15

Where: Cadillac Cafe, 1801 N.E. Broadway, Portland (503-287-4750).

More: $20 per person. It is hosted by both the Cadillac Cafe and Bugatti's Restaurant Cedar Hills Crossing, 2905 S.W. Cedar Hills Blvd.