Fundraiser aiming to lift family’s spirits

Burger and beer night being held march 1 at Abbotsford's Townhall Public House

A fundraiser is being held on behalf of Marianna Juhasz and her sons Patrik (left) and Tamas

A fundraiser is being held on behalf of Marianna Juhasz and her sons Patrik (left) and Tamas

Friends and co-workers of Marianna Juhasz are organizing a pub night fundraiser for Sunday, March 1 to lift the Abbotsford woman’s spirits. She and her two sons sought sanctuary in a Langley church more than two months ago.

A burger and beer night at Townhall Public House in Abbotsford will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $25.

Friends who wrote some information about the Juhasz family’s situation for the fundraiser said Marianna “is the personification of what it is to be Canadian: friendly, hard working, honest and kind.”

Marianna maintained three jobs, including working in the food court at Sevenoaks Mall in Abbotsford. Her boys, Patrik, 16, and Tamas, 12, embraced their new life in Canada, taking up sports and making friends until a decision by Immigration Canada came down. The government  ordered them deported back to Hungary.

It was 2010 when Marianna fled with her sons to Canada to escape the violence her youngest son Tamas was experiencing with his father there. Marianna was estranged from Tamas’ father and claims she suffered abuse too. He had visitation rights with Tamas.

The three came to Canada on humanitarian grounds. But a judge wasn’t presented the proper documentation to find any abuse took place.

Immigration Canada ordered the family be deported in November 2014. They decided to hide, looking for sanctuary in any Abbotsford church. They found it at Walnut Grove Lutheran Church, where Langley’s Jose Figueroa has been living for a year and a half.

The Juhasz’ are waiting to hear if they will be granted permission to stay on humanitarian grounds.

But in the meantime, “life in the confines of four walls has taken a toll on their spirits,” said the write-up from friends.

Funds are needed to let them continue their fight.

If you would like to donate, contact Brenda at bgolden@morguard.com.

Tickets to the pub night can be purchased at Sevenoaks customer service or at 604-853-1339.