founders pass 

By Amy Fendley More than three-quarters of the 50 exclusive Founder’s Passes have been sold, meaning the Whistler/Blackcomb Foundation’s new fund raising vehicle has been a success. And with a number of requests for more information on the pass the sales period has been extended into early October. "We expect to sell out," said Brita McLaughlin, executive director of the Whistler/Blackcomb Foundation. The Founder’s Pass was created as a third major fund-raising vehicle for the Whistler/Blackcomb Foundation, which supports registered charity organizations in the Sea To Sky Corridor. Sales of the $5,000 transferable passes commenced on Sept. 7. On Tuesday the foundation opened sales to the Vancouver market. "The focus has mainly been this area, sticking to the foundation supporters, Whistler and people within the Sea To Sky Corridor," said McLaughlin. "This is our first crack at the larger Vancouver market." So far, passes have been snapped up by a mix of long-time residents, second home owners, ski school employees, corporations, and philanthropists — the majority of sales being close to home with the exception of a few buyers from the U.S., Australia and Hong Kong. The Founder’s Pass offers unlimited skiing on both Whistler and Blackcomb, as well as Intrawest’s eight other North American resorts. The pass also includes priority lift access at Whistler/Blackcomb bases for the pass holder and three guests. Half of the $5,000 pass price is tax deductible. The foundation’s two primary fund-raising vehicles are the Husky Oil Mixed Golf Classic at Big Sky, held in September, and the BC Tel Mobility Winter Classic, held in February on Blackcomb. This year’s golf tournament netted $40,000 for the foundation, an increase from last year’s $31,000. Last year the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation raised $150,000 for various local non-profit organizations through the golf and ski events. If all 50 Founder’s Passes are sold the foundation will have an additional $250,000 to help fund on-going community projects such as Whistler’s new Interfaith Chapel, library and future community centres within the corridor. The Whistler/Blackcomb Foundation was founded in 1992 by Blackcomb Skiing Enterprises and has provided approximately $500,000 in grants to numerous organizations throughout the corridor over the past five years. The Founder’s Pass is available to the general public until early October. For information on the Founder’s Pass or to obtain a registration form, contact McLaughlin at 938-9319 or Corrine Allison at 932-6102, or visit the Whistler Blackcomb offices, 4545 Blackcomb Way.

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