GoFundMe for Toronto bartending icon Sandy De Almeida reaches over $60k
The Toronto bartending community is still in utter shock and anguish today following the sudden, tragic passing of a tenured fixture and powerful force in the city's hospitality sector, Sandy De Almeida.
Almeida is being passionately remembered as not only a mixology luminary who shaped Toronto's cocktail scene into what it is today, but also for her personal influence as a human being on everyone she met.
As moving tributes to the icon pour in all over social media, a GoFundMe has been launched in her honour to support her family with funeral expenses during this unimaginably difficult time.
And, in less than 12 hours at the time of publication, it had already raised more than $40,000 from nearly 300 people. By afternoon, 19 hours later, it hit $61,000 and counting — evidence of just how strong and widespread De Almeida's impact on the city and industry at large was.
"I believe I speak for everyone grateful enough to have been blessed by Sandy's presence, that her nature was beyond this realm. Her ability to inspire, invigorate and tap into the core of anyone she met was a profound and rare gift she spread effortlessly across Toronto and throughout her travels," reads a message from organizer Michael Webster.
"Sandy's unparalleled sense of hospitality unveiled itself without fail. She always had time, love, and sincere attention to give... hallmarks of her prowess behind endless Toronto bartops," he continues. "I owe her and her family an outstanding debt of gratitude for sharing her with this world. A remarkable being with unbridled passion and love."
It is one of countless beautifully-written, touching missives that are being shared by friends, peers, lovers and others celebrating De Almeida and lamenting her loss, which will definitely leave an unfillable hole behind the bar of her resident spot the Drake Hotel and far beyond.
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