Whistler Blackcomb Foundation event raises record amount for local charities 

Telus Winter Classic brings in $320,000

click to enlarge PHOTO COURTESY OF COASTPHOTO.COM - DISCO AT THE TOP The Roundhouse Lodge was transformed into the iconic Studio 54 for the finale gala of the Telus Winter Classic during which the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation raised $320,000.
  • Photo courtesy of coastphoto.com
  • DISCO AT THE TOP The Roundhouse Lodge was transformed into the iconic Studio 54 for the finale gala of the Telus Winter Classic during which the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation raised $320,000.

The Whistler Blackcomb Foundation's major winter fundraiser broke last year's record by more than $50,000, raising an incredible $320,000 this year.

"This means even more money for all our great local charities," said the Foundation's executive director Mei McCurdy in an interview.

"That is my favourite part. The best part of my job is being able to give it all away."

Originally formed in 1992 the Foundation has raised over $8.5 million for registered Sea to Sky charities making it the largest fundraising organization in the area.

The money flows to an eclectic array of charities from Whistler Search and Rescue to a program in Pemberton, which teaches kids to grow food, harvest it and give it to the Food Bank.

"Our kids have grown up using the computers we bought, playing on the playgrounds we helped build and dancing on the floors we purchased, said McCurdy by way of explaining the reach and importance of the funds to the local community.

This was the 22nd year for the event, which took place Jan 23-25.

"It is a true testament to the heart of our community and I'm truly humbled by all the support we receive," McCurdy said in a release, which sees a one- and two-day ski racing event, the Whistler Winetastic party, and this year a grand finale Cisco Studio 54 Mountain Top Gala.

The Gala event saw the entire Roundhouse transformed from a ski lodge to the iconic Studio 54 club complete with disco balls, a giant horse and a lit-up disco floor. In all it took 90 gondolas to get just the production equipment up the mountain to help with the transformation — and hundreds of volunteers.

"We couldn't do this without them," said McCurdy of volunteers.

Over the weekend about 2,000 people took part in events with around 900 guests and volunteers at the mountaintop gala event.

"There have been many exciting and entertaining evenings over the years but in my mind this was the best ever," said WB's vice president of planning, government relations and special projects, Doug Forseth, in a release.

Sea to Sky non-profit organizations are now invited to apply for funding to the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation for their next intake period of April 1. Applications can be obtained online at www.whistlerblackcombfoundation.com or by calling the Foundation at 604-938-7321.

The next Whistler Blackcomb Foundation fundraising event is the TELUS Golf Classic on Sept. 11.

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