Saturday, March 20, 2010

You Ken Help

If you have ever dined at Crush 29 or Bar Basic, you've probably been served or helped at some point by a cordial bartender/bar manager named Kenny.

I met Kenny (briefly) last month at Bar Basic. My boyfriend and I attended a very crowded event and he cheerfully helped us both find a seat and a table when where were none to be found.

Just last Monday, I got a text from my boyfriend saying he was at the hospital with a sick friend and was not sure when he would be home. When he referenced who the friend was, I was surprised.

Kenny Lipska passed away from meningitis on March 17th. The local restaurant industry lost a superstar, but from what I hear from friends and family members, the heavens gained one.

Tragic and shocking are words that immediately come to mind. Surreal that he could be so suddenly stricken with illness and already gone. I mean, I just saw him a few weeks ago hustling around the bar––busting his tail to make the customers happy. Doesn't make sense.

Gone too soon, he leaves behind a wife, two young children, his other family members, and numerous friends who loved him very much.

On a positive note, Kenny was an organ donor, and his organs provided life and improved health to several patients (eight individuals I am told) on waiting lists. I think that is amazing and perhaps a little comforting.

In Ken's honor, a website called You Ken Help was established. Not only does the site celebrate the life of Ken Lipska, but it provides a way for financial contributions to be made to his family in their time of need.

All proceeds will go directly to Ken’s family to help cover major medical expenses and provide future financial support for his wife Shawna and their two children.

Please email any questions to youkenhelp at gmail dot com or call Matthew Warren at (916) 367-1230.

There will also be charity events held at the following local restaurants: Basic, Crush29, Sienna, Elephant Bar, PF Changs, Trocadero.

You can become a fan of Kenny Lipska on Facebook here to post photos and share memories with friends and family members.

Ken, wherever you are I hope there's lots of fishing and country music to be found. I am also fond of both. :) My condolences go out to his family and friends.

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