Community lends a helping hand

Helen Larabie, left, and Kalan Schmidt, of Tapas Room Restaurant & Music Lounge, at the Belle Centre in Peace River. They have been busy fundraising to help Krista Canfield Bryant and her young family after her common-law husband, Ryan Austin, was killed in a hit and run Sept, 6. Austin was a partner in the restaurant.

SPN Staff

Citizens in Peace River and area are coming together to help the family of the late Ryan Austin.

Several fundraisers and events were held recently to help the family after the tragedy. On Sept. 6, Sunday evening or early Monday morning, Austin and his dog were both killed in a hit and run.

Left behind is Krista Canfield Bryant, 34, Parker 14, Emerson, 5, and Charlotte, three weeks old.

Austin and Bryant are from Nova Scotia. As we understand, Bryant has chosen to stay in Nampa to raise her children and help the partners at the Tapas Room Restaurant and Music Lounge by keeping Ryan’s dream alive of owning a restaurant. The decision was reached after Bryant had some time to regroup and make plans for her and the children’s future.

Austin was working in the oilfield prior to COVID when layoffs occurred. Austin and Kalan Schmidt, his partner, and Helena Larabie, decided they both wanted to take over the Tapas and to be at home more with their young families. The agreement was reached only 10 days before the tragedy.

The Tapas Room staff recently hosted a fundraiser for the family. They would like to thank the community as they bought 135 individual pizzas, Fancy Friday platters and other items from the Tapas that helped raise $2,900 for the family. All money will be used to help the family offset expenses such as rents, utilities, gas, groceries and school costs.

Other help was received from local women Kristy Jackman and Amanda Balfour, who helped collect donations for the family, including winter coats and other items for the boys and their three-week-old little sister.

Jackman and George Brothers also donated prizes for a draw for those who donated.

Fountain Tire, along with a generous anonymous couple in town, have helped winterized and repair the 2004 company van for Bryant to drive.

Bryant’s birthday was Sept. 12. Aspen Grove Spa and SweetPeas Clothing are giving her a new outfit and shoes for her birthday and to attend Austin’s memorial.

If you can help in anyway, please drop by the Tapas. A donation box is placed at the door until Sept. 30.

A Gofund has been started and is currently at $8,000 if you wound like to donate. It is “Help Momma Krista”.

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