Incredibly devoted to his community, Mr. Melvin Zajac has not only transformed our city skyscape, but changed the lives of hundreds. He’s been awarded the Order of Canada and the Order of B.C. for his humanitarian work, philanthropic endeavours, and unwavering commitment to the underserved in our community. He has constructed 22 buildings, including Vancouver’s first high-rise apartment, but his most ambitious project, the Zajac Ranch for Children, is the one that’s closest to his heart.
“I worked pretty well all my life,” says Mr. Zajac, and he means it. Born the seventh of eight children in a very poor postal code in northern Winnipeg, his first job was delivering newspapers at the age of 11; at 13 he set pins in the local bowling alley. At age 19, he visited his sister in Vancouver and ended up staying. “I don’t regret it because I achieved a lot. Almost every street in the West End has one of my buildings, except Comox and Pacific. At that time my biggest project was Pacific Palisades, but when I lost my boys, I turned all my energy toward honouring them by building the Zajac Ranch for Children.”
In 1987, Mr. Zajac and his wife Irene founded The Mel Jr. and Marty Zajac Foundation as a living legacy in memory of their two sons, who lost their lives within eight months of each other in tragic sporting accidents. Since then, the foundation has raised more than $20 million to build facilities and develop programs like Zajac Norgate House, which offers extended home care for seniors; the annual Mel Zajac Jr. International swim meet, now in its 53rd year; and the Zajac Ranch for Children.
Situated at the serene Stave Lake in Mission, BC, on 41 acres of pristine forested land, Zajac Ranch gives children with chronic, life-threatening, or debilitating conditions the opportunity to go to camp and to have outdoor experiences while still receiving medical care. “We encourage the children to do everything and anything that you or I could do,” explains Mr. Zajac. That includes horseback riding, archery and kayaking on the lake, “Everything is wheelchair accessible, for example. We can get them up in the high ropes because we have a special harness for these kids. It’s an amazing opportunity for kids in wheelchairs who are always looking up—now they can look down for a change,”says Mr. Zajac. Zajac Ranch is also equipped with a full medical centre; instead of going to a hospital, children can receive their treatment in a beautiful environment and then go out and play.
Since opening its doors in 2004, Zajac Ranch has significantly changed the lives of more than 4,000 children, some coming from as far away as Halifax, Nova Scotia. “What surprised me was how these children cope with these conditions,” says Mr. Zajac. “You realize how lucky you are. But these kids are laughing, smiling.”
Today, Mr. Zajac continues to spend most of his days working on the foundation; he is always looking for ways to improve and expand the ranch and its offerings. “We are now building a new aboriginal and arts education centre, which is fabulous. It’s going to be a museum and outdoor education centre, so kids can see how chickens are born, how trees are formed, and so on. We’re building a picnic area, two treehouses, and a zipline.” It’s an ambitious series of projects, but Mr. Zajac feels confident that everything will be complete by June. And with that, he already has his sights set on next year’s goal: to expand the lodge’s capacity from 110 to 200.
Terminal City Club is honoured to be hosting the fourth annual Zajac Nights: The World in A Night on Saturday, June 4. Each room in the Club will be transformed to represent cultural hubs around the world, including Mumbai, Stuttgart, New Orleans, and Tokyo. Guests can expect a suite of extraordinary experiences, themed cuisine, live entertainment, and free flowing beverages. All proceeds will support Zajac Ranch. “It’s amazing how many people we had last year—650, 700 people,” says Mr. Zajac. “This year, we’re honouring the Toigo family, the owners of White Spot. They are a great company that supplies us with both funds and food for the camp.” Over the years, White Spot has raised more than $400,000 for Zajac Ranch through their very popular annual Pirate Pak Day.
“We’re so thrilled to be holding Zajac Nights at Terminal City Club,” says Mr. Zajac. “I love coming to the Club for the atmosphere. I love bringing guests here. It’s a wonderful place in the centre of town.”
Tickets to Zajac Night are available at www.zajacnights.com. We look forward to seeing you there!
To book spa services, please call the Fitness Centre at 604 488 8622 or fill in the following form.
To book spa services – please call the Fitness Centre at 604 488 8622
6 a.m. – 10 p.m.
8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
If you have any questions about our various squash programs, please fill in the form below and our program directors will get back to you.
6 a.m. – 10 p.m.
8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
If you have any questions about our various swim programs, please fill in the form below and our program directors will get back to you.
In order to book a tour, please fill out the following form:
Dress Code: Smart Casual
Unless otherwise specified, all areas of the Club, including the Grill Room, 1892, Cuvée Wine Bar, patios and private function rooms have a dress code of smart casual. Smart casual attire includes collared or turtle neck shirts, golf or knee length shorts, and dress pants. Similar attire is required for ladies. Denim is acceptable provided a collared shirt is worn and denim is of a solid colour with no fading, tears or patches.
All footwear is to be clean and smart. Casual thong footwear is not permitted outside of the fitness centre.
To book a venue, please fill out the following form:
Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Golden Beet & Vegetable
Shrimp Caesar Wrap
soup, salad or fries
Cajun Chicken & 3 Bean Salad
sautéed mushrooms, scallions, bacon, egg
grainy mustard vinaigrette
Sage & Gruyere Stuffed Chicken Breast
mashed potatoes, broccolini, carrots
cream cheese icing, carrot ribbon
pineapple caramel sauce
New York Cheesecake
lemon curd, graham crumble,
Peanut Butter Bar
dark chocolate mousse, caramel
Apple Spice Cake
toffee sauce, ice cream, walnut snap
Stay tuned for next quarter's wine club!