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Memorial Funds To Go To SAR Teams

Family of Michael Tu Makes Generous Donation

Following the death of hiker Michael Tu, friend and colleague Morgan Richards of Vancouver, organized a GoFundMe to raise funds for Michael's family.

As reported here in The Watershed, Tu set off for a hike on June 7, leaving his car parked beside Lions Bay School. When he didn't return as expected, a call went out to Lions Bay Search and Rescue (LBSAR) that evening. After a lengthy search, involving the combined efforts of a number of SAR and emergency service teams, Tu was located on the far side of Mount Harvey the following day and his body was recovered just before 6 p.m.

Richards has known Michael's brother Eric since they met in nursing school. He told The Watershed that they quickly became friends. "We found ourselves supporting each other in both school and life. Eric was the best man at my wedding."

The two started working together at St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver in 2019, and a few years later were joined at the hospital by Michael.

"He was an extremely hard-working nurse who provided reliable and consistent care," said Richards. "One or both of the Tu brothers seemed to always be working –often overtime– providing care for our patients. They brought energy and contagious smiles to every shift."

When Richards learned Michael Tu was missing, he drove to Lions Bay to offer moral support for the family. After his friend's body was recovered, Richards was devastated and felt the need to do something to support Tu's family and friends in their grieving.

"I started the GoFundMe knowing that no money would change the way they were feeling at that moment," said Richards. "I just knew it was a way for people to show support for Michael's family."

Richards initially set a modest goal of $5,000 and was surprised at how many donations came in within hours.

In a statement on the GoFundMe site, Eric Tu offered his thanks.

"I would like to extend my greatest gratitude to the RCMP, Lions Bay, North Shore, Coquitlam, Sunshine Coast, and Squamish Search and Rescue teams who came together, worked hard, and risked their own lives to find my brother. If there was a way to continue Michael's legacy, it would be to share the message of caring for one another and paying it forward. All donations made will be sent to the Search and Rescue teams."

Richards says he was not expecting the family to forward the raised funds to the SAR teams, but was not at all surprised. "All three siblings are nurses and have always valued putting others before themselves."

In light of Eric Tu's announcement, Richards increased the goal on the GoFundMe page, and noted the new plan for the fundraiser. As of this writing, more than $17,000 has been raised in Michael Tu's name.

Richards says that Eric Tu has asked to keep the GoFundMe page open until the funeral, in hopes that people will contribute to the Search and Rescue teams in lieu of flowers and cards. "Even through the tragedy of losing a member of their family, they continue to think of the volunteers and their families, who risked their lives for Michael."

The fundraiser in memory of Michael Tu can be found HERE.

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