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Yukon Territories

Community steps up to support Paris restaurant owner’s cancer battle

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PARIS A restaurant owner’s cancer battle in Paris has prompted an online fundraiser.

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Scott and Kim Dammeier own Scott’s Family Restaurant on Scott Avenue in Paris.

The couple was just beginning to break even after pandemic restrictions for the past three years when Scott was diagnosed with end-stage bladder cancer last August.

“He wants to live,” Kim said of her husband.

“He’s not convinced he’s going anywhere yet. He is fighting and staying positive.”

Scott Dammeier is executive chef and owner of Scott's Family Restaurant in Paris, Ontario.  SUBMITTED PHOTO
Scott Dammeier is executive chef and owner of Scott’s Family Restaurant in Paris, Ontario. SUBMITTED PHOTO jpg, BR

Scott underwent surgery to remove a tumor on his bladder. Another tumor was discovered on his spine and cancer has spread to his hip bones.

Scott, who is currently undergoing radiation and chemotherapy in Hamilton, has difficulty walking and is unable to work.

“He’s a good cook,” says Tina Graziano, who worked as a waitress for the Dammeiers for 15 years. “His homemade soups are famous.”

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Kim said the restaurant has a seasonal chef who will return to his other job in the spring.

“It leaves me without a chef, which means I have to go back to the kitchen until I find one,” Kim said. “I’m not as fast as Scott.”

Graziano became a mortgage broker during the pandemic. From time to time she lends a hand in the restaurant.

Her desire to help the couple led to the creation of a GoFundMe campaign called Friends of Scott’s Family Restaurant, which is attempting to raise $25,000. So far, just over $9,000 has been donated.

“He needs to have something to go back to and she needs to have something to pay her bills,” Graziano said. “You have helped this community so much with charity…. And I’ve seen Scott give people free food.”

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After working at restaurants The White Horse, The Crossing and Country Grill in Paris in his early years, Scott and his first wife founded Kel’s Restaurant about 21 years ago with locations in Brantford and Paris.

When the two split, Scott retained the Paris location but relocated to the former Rooster’s on Scott Avenue, renaming it Scott’s Family Restaurant about 10 years ago.

Kim said she needs an experienced cook soon because she can’t balance her busy restaurant chores with taking care of her husband.

“Kim should take care of him and spend time with him,” Graziano said. “She cooks, waits tables, does all the prep, bills, and grocery shopping.”

She said she hopes people will help, adding that if financial contributions are not an option, coming to the restaurant for breakfast is another way to help. Additionally, some people have offered their skills to help with minor repairs.

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Brant County. Steve Howes, representing Paris, said he and his father had had breakfast at the restaurant every Friday for years.

“Scott and Kim are locals who put their heart and soul into this restaurant,” he said.

“And they’ve always provided great food at good prices with exceptional service.”

Howes said he hopes the fundraiser will relieve some of the financial pressure on the Dammeiers.

“Concern about day-to-day income from her small business shouldn’t be her priority right now,” Graziano said.

“Having served the community for years, we want to help them minister with relief and comfort in their time of need.”

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