Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz has donated $333,000 to local non-profit, the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation.
The announcement comes just days after Vail's proposed $1.4-billion takeover Whistler Blackcomb received Investment Canada Act approval, the latest hurdle before the deal joining two ski industry giants becomes a reality.
The donation is part of the $2.63 million Katz and his wife Elana Amsterdam have recently contributed to 12 non-profits in communities where Vail Resorts operates.
Each of the donations will go towards programs that support "the welfare and education" of children in these resort towns.
"The success of our local communities brings a number of unique challenges that require our focus and attention – none more important than helping kids and families who are most vulnerable," Katz said in a release Friday, Oct. 14. "Elana and I feel fortunate to be able to provide this support to these outstanding non-profits to allow them to continue their great work."
Mei Madden, executive director of the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation, which provides financial support to Sea to Sky organizations, with a special emphasis on youth and family programs, said the non-profit was "overwhelmed by this unparalleled personal donation.
"Our local Sea to Sky communities, and especially our children and youth, will benefit enormously and feel the positive effects from these programs for many years to come."
Madden also said the donation was "extremely timely" since Whistler Community Service Society's Healthy Choices Program, an initiative that offers classes in local schools promoting healthy lifestyle choices, was in danger of being cut due to a lack of funding.
Meanwhile, B.C.'s highest court earlier this month granted final approval to the previously announced strategic combination between Whistler Blackcomb and Vail Resorts. No further regulatory approvals are required to green-light the deal, although it remains subject to other customary closing conditions, including applicable stock exchange approvals. The transaction is expected to close Monday, Oct. 17.
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