Locals Night raises $18,000 — so far
It’s one thing to go out for a night on the town and have a good time at your favourite pub or club, but when the cover charge goes toward a locally active, well used charity, it’s pretty special.
For the past 18 months, Garfinkel’s Pub in Village North has used its popular Locals’ Night to raise money for the Whistler Food Bank, operated by the Whistler Community Services Society. By charging a loonie at the door, Garf’s 350 patrons every Thursday have been contributing to the food bank.
"It’s a significant amount for someone else to raise for us," said Janet McDonald, the service’s executive director. "It’s ongoing and it is a significant amount of our annual budget. We normally collect most of the food during Christmas, and that’s good until about July. But one year, in November of ’98, we had 10 times the amount of people use the food bank. On two occasions they were lined up 100 people deep. So it’s hard to say when we need it the most."
The Whistler Food Bank operates once a month out of a trailer parked behind Our Lady of The Mountains Catholic Church at the bottom of Lorimer Road. But special appointments can be made through the community services society, at 932-0113.
"We’re talking to other nightclubs and pubs in the village right now about helping us start other programs. One of them is Couples in Crisis," McDonald said. "It’s for couples with relationship problems who can’t afford to see a counsellor.
"The other program is Crisis Counselling, and that’s for individuals. Both programs are for financially restricted people.
"The federal government does have programs through medical coverage, but you have to qualify as an extreme case and it takes a long time to get in," McDonald explained. "These are six-week counselling programs for locals and there’ll be a nominal fee."