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The Helen David Relief Fund (HDRF) honors the memory of the beloved Port Huron, Michigan bar owner and community leader. Beating breast cancer twice during her lifetime, Helen is an inspiration to those living with the disease. In her name, the HDRF assists those in the bar industry who are fighting breast, and other forms of, cancer with the same dignity and courage that Helen exemplified throughout her battle and life as a pioneer business owner in the bar industry.
At this time the USBG Foundation’s grant programs are not accepting applications based solely on a positive COVID-19 diagnosis and/or need to quarantine. However, we are accepting applications with medical complications associated with a COVID-19 diagnosis requiring further (more intense) medical treatment. In these cases, we are requiring proof of a positive PCR test, and associated medical documentation/bills showing treatment of COVID-19 complications.
Please read through the Selection Criteria and Eligibility Requirements for the Helen David Relief Fund (HDRF) below, and if you believe that you are eligible, please fill out the application making sure to include the required supporting documents. You do NOT need to be a USBG member to apply for a philanthropic grant. Submission of an application is not a guarantee of funding. Applications are reviewed anonymously and on their own merit. Any decision made is to be considered final.
Born in Port Huron in the early part of the 20th century, Helen was a trailblazer. Women business owners were rarely heard of at that time, but that did not deter Helen! Helen opened her own bar, the Brass Rail, which remains an institution in her hometown. Helen loved her bar and ran it for many passion-filled decades. Helen was active in the bar industry through the Licensed Beverage Association, and served as president of the St. Clair County Association, as well as various committees for the Michigan Association. According to her fellow townspeople, "Helen was a fixture in Port Huron for 69 years as the owner of Brass Rail. She was considered by most people to be the heart and soul of Port Huron."
Helen's zest for life was legendary. When she wasn't busy running the bar, or serving as a leader in her community, the free-spirited Helen enjoyed golfing, bowling. and baseball. One of her great loves was that of sport fishing; she was once featured in Sports Fishing Magazine for her incredible catches around the world. Helen also sponsored a variety of sports teams within the community and was especially fond of hockey. She is remembered for the enthusiasm she exuded in each and every one of her vibrant years.
According to Tony Abou-Ganim, Helen was an inspiration to many, especially to a young boy who grew up learning the trade in her bar. "I grew up in the bar business. My cousin Helen David opened the Brass Rail Bar in Port Huron, Michigan in 1937. I enjoyed many Shirley Temples while watching my Uncles tend that beautiful bar before imbibing in my first legal cocktails on April 14, 1978. I later went on to learn the craft from Helen, my Uncle Charlie, and Cousin Tony in 1980. I guess you could say, bartending is in my blood. My earliest influence came from my Cousin Helen, who taught me, " For a nickel more, you go first class!"




In order to qualify for grant assistance from the Helen David Relief Fund, the recipient must satisfy all of the following requirements:


  1. Be a Bartender or the spouse or child of a Bartender. The Helen David Relief Fund defines a “Bartender” as an individual employed in serving beverages or otherwise engaged in the production, promotion or distribution of alcoholic beverages. An individual is considered “employed” as a Bartender if, for not less than one year prior to the application, the individual performed services as a Bartender on a regular full- or part-time basis or, if the catastrophic event or emergency hardship giving rise to the application prevents the individual from performing such services, for not less than one year prior to the event or hardship the individual performed services as a Bartender on a regular full- or part-time basis.

   2. Experience an event or emergency related to breast cancer, or another form of cancer that is:

  • Identifiable and described in detail in the application

   3. Lack the necessities of life, including financial, physical, mental, or emotional well being as a result of the cancer diagnoses.


   4.  Provide tangible documentation of the cancer related hardship.



Grant recipients will be selected solely on the basis of the eligibility requirements above. Each grant applicant will be pre-screened for compliance with the eligibility and application requirements on an objective and nondiscriminatory basis by USBG National Charity Foundation staff or other persons designated by USBG Foundation’s President. All pre-screened and approved applications will be submitted to USBG National Charity Foundation's grants Committee for review. Grants will be awarded by said Grants Committee on an objective and nondiscriminatory basis upon reviewing the application and ascertaining any additional facts and circumstances as necessary.

Grant applications will not be denied solely due to the fact that the Bartender terminated employment after the application was made, regardless of the reason for such termination. Moreover, at the time the grant is awarded, there will be no requirement or condition, express or implied, that the recipient render future employment services as a Bartender.


Grants will be made in the form of lump sum distributions to the recipient, or as determined by the USBG National Charity Foundation's Grants Committee based on the needs of the particular recipient. Each grant recipient will be required to provide USBG National Charity Foundation with documentation that the grant was used in a manner consistent with the terms of the grant. Although the extent and form of documentation required in connection with a particular distribution will depend on the nature and urgency of the underlying cancer related hardship, preferred documentation will include evidence produced by third parties and used for other purposes, such as medical prescriptions, receipts, overdue invoices, other third party affirmations and other similar tangible documentation. 

All data is kept confidential and secure. For proof of our charitable status, please find our 501(c)3 Letter of Determination here.

The Helen David Relief Fund is a program of the USBG National Charity Foundation, a U.S. registered 501(c)3 nonprofit with the mission to advance the lifelong stability and wellbeing of service industry professionals through education & charitable programs. For more information on the USBG Foundation and its programs please click here.

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