Smile Politely

Dumplings for Davis

Cancer — whether it’s a sibling, grandparent, parent, uncle, aunt, or cousin, this terrible disease has affected all of us. It comes in different sizes, shapes, and varieties, but never is it scarier than when it comes for a child.

This March, 4-year-old Davis McKay was diagnosed with Pre B Cell ALL Leukemia. For his parents, Art Mart owners Brian and Courtney McKay, his diagnosis means four years of treatment at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. Juggling their daily life of raising a family and running a business with commuting to obtain crucial medical care for their little boy is a tall order. Beyond the emotional and physical drain, the financial aspect of Davis reaching recovery, from the medical expenses to travel and lodging, is daunting.

For Art Mart Catering Coordinator April Hyon, Davis’ diagnosis meant one thing: Time to get to work. To raise funds for the McKay family, Hyon teamed up with Mark “Shades” Hartstein (Common Ground Co-op) to create Dumplings for Davis, a pop-up food truck event that will take place Wednesday, May 1. The culinary duo hope to raise at least $2,000 for the McKay family’s medical and travel expenses.

For weeks, Hyon and Hartstein have been coordinating volunteers in the Art Mart kitchen to create a delectable menu of Asian-inspired dishes with a decidedly Korean influence. Over 900 dumplings are being prepped for the event. Varieties will include a vegetarian dumpling featuring bok choy, Napa cabbage, Chinese chives, carrot, shitake mushrooms, and homemade sweet potato noodles, as well as a pork and kimchi combo and a seafood version. The dumplings will be sold in orders of three for $5 and served with a selection of sauces from a classic soy to homemade Korean ketchup and spicy Chinese mustard.

In addition to the dumplings, Banh Mi sandwiches (pork shoulder, mayo, and Szechaun pickles on Mirabelle bakery bread) will be available for $5. Accompaniments will include homemade kimchi and Szechaun pickles ($3) and can be washed down with to-be-decided punch or tea ($2). And — just wait for it — the chefs will also be serving up sesame funnel cake as a whimsically sweet ending to the evening ($3). All proceeds from the Dumplings for Davis pop-up will go to the Davis McKay Leukemia Fund.

The kind folks of Cracked Food Truck will be loaning their wheels to the event, which takes place Wednesday, May 1, at two locations: 5–6:30 p.m. at the South Lot of the Lincoln Square Mall in Urbana, and 7–9 p.m. in front of the City Building in Downtown Champaign.

To get involved or get more info about the event, check out the Facebook page. Donations for Davis McKay can also be made directly at any Busey Bank location. For more information, check out the website.

Pay a fair price. Eat amazing food. Fund a cancer cure for a family that’s touched countless lives in our community. See you May 1, CU.

photo of Davis McKay contributed by McKay family

all other photos by Wes Pundt

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