Café aids hospital charity, honours departed daughter with Coffees for Marigold

by Keith Corcoran

The Blockhouse couple running a small Bridgewater restaurant is turning personal tragedy into a benefit for a local hospital charity.

Fancy Pants Café owners - and wife-and-husband - Michelle Engel and Ulo Greer started Coffees for Marigold, an act of philanthropy in memory of their departed daughter, which sees a dollar from the sale of specialty coffees going to the Health Services Foundation of the South Shore.

"They knew what to do and did everything in the best possible way," Engel told LighthouseNOW of the care received. "It was just a tragic outcome but we really wanted to give back to the hospital and really do something to honour Marigold."

The idea of the Marigold name came from Engel's mother who liked to grow the colourful flower and also for the plant's reputation for vibrancy and strength.

Marigold died in November 2017 as a result of medical complications after Engel accidentally fell. "Super kind and caring" health care professionals had to do an emergency cesarean section. Engel said the maternal/child medical team gave them the best possible support given the circumstances.

"While we were at the hospital, the doctors and nurses were just so amazing and really there for us," she said. "We're just really glad the hospital is here and can provide that emergency care that is so vital."

Engel said nurses took extra care to explain what was happening and the compassion and comfort extended beyond hospital walls as health professionals visited their home to go over what happened.

"Everybody went way above and beyond what they had to to do, and it [meant] everything," she said.

As a gesture of gratitude, the café at the corner of King Street and Victoria Road will run a Coffees for Marigold promotion from November 22 to December 8 in support of the foundation, which aids hospitals in Bridgewater and Lunenburg. The support extends to the Maternal Child Unit at South Shore Regional Hospital toward enhancing equipment or educational opportunities for staff.

"Either way, all the proceeds will support the medical professionals in the unit that were there to support Michelle, Ulo and Marigold in their moment of need," said foundation spokeswoman Alison Clements. "We hope the community will get out and support this cause."

There will be marigold flower pins available at Fancy Pants by donation. Any extra donations customers want to make will result in extra stamps on Fancy Pants coffee cards.

The donation program launch coincided with Marigold's birthday and the birthday of the café. Free cupcakes were available to acknowledge the day.

Greer and Engel have a son Sage, 4, and daughter Minerva, who's set to turn one.

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