The pandemic hit Lindsay Schile particularly hard. But after months of tears, the Manager and Groups Coordinator for Vacations For Heroes, a division of Chilliwack-based travel agency CM Travel Ltd., was struck with inspiration to launch a cookbook in support of her clients.
“I had a good chat with a friend that works in an agency in Burnaby near the end of October,” Schile tells PressToday. “She was so positive about things going forward and she told me about a travel game she created. I thought, hey, why can’t I do that! The next morning I woke up with this idea for the cookbook.”
Launched on Nov. 30 as an e-cookbook and available on paperback via Amazon since Dec. 4, the end result is Cooking With Heroes, which features a compilation of recipes submitted by heroes like first responders, medical professionals, RCMP and teachers in Canada, USA, Australia and Scotland.
“It is incredibly important to support our clients. Mental health is so fragile right now and especially for our first responders,” she says. “We decided to donate partial proceeds to Wounded Warriors Canada and can’t be more excited to have partnered with them.”
For Schile, who is working her way through making all the recipes and counts the lemon cheesecake amongst her current favourites, getting to know and connecting with her clients on a deeper lever has been a highlight of seeing the project come to life.
“I rarely meet clients face-to-face as they are spread out across Canada. The book includes stories about their family heritage or their connections to RCMP, the military, etc. It’s been really great,” she says.
Vacations For Heroes was founded by Jack and Connie Skrine — a retired RCMP inspector and a travel agency owner for 20 years, respectively — in appreciation of society’s true heroes. Under normal circumstances, the agency books vacations for families of first responders, police, military and teachers.
Although 2020 has been challenging, Schile is now looking at the future in a new light.
“2020 is a year I think most would like to forget but 2021 and 2022 will be the comeback years,” she says. “Clients are starving for exploration and escape. It is up to us to show them it can be done safely and responsibly. I think we will all appreciate travel a bit more going forward.”
For more on the travel game that inspired the whole idea visit our latest Travel Courier cover story: http://travelcourier.ca/coverstory-dec-10-2020/.
Cover photo: The cover pages of the paperback and e-book, plus Schile was featured in the local newspaper. Photo courtesy Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress.