Whistler Search and Rescue celebrates 40 years 

Biggest SAR fundraiser of the year set for Oct. 13

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Whistler Search and Rescue (WSAR) members are preparing to get Wine'd Up for the organization's biggest annual fundraising event.

Tickets for the event go on sale Sept. 1 and SAR's Sue Stafford said all the tickets for the party sold out in just eight days last year.

To date, the Wine'd Up parties have raised more than $380,000 to help cover training costs and the purchase of equipment.

Stafford said the event is slated for Oct. 13 at Dusty's in Whistler Creekside, and includes dinner, a silent auction and a live auction. Five of the resort's top chefs will prepare the meal and Gary Raymond is scheduled to lead the live auction.

Stafford said the event has raised between $48,000 and $52,000 each year in the last three and she expects to reach that range again this year.

"The half million dollar figure is coming closer to me," said Stafford. "I'm really on the big push. I'd really love to push a bit hard but with the economic times not everybody has quite the deeper pockets they had."

She said the event gets great support every year from Whistler Blackcomb through the donation of the venue and the use of the reservation system to sell tickets. The Wagner Family of Wine is donating the wine for the event and Stafford said many other businesses are contributing to the fundraiser.

Brad Sills, a founding member and director of WSAR, said the very-busy volunteer members of his organization wouldn't be able to fulfill its mandate without the support Wine'd Up gets each year.

"The sheer cost of maintaining rescue quality equipment and training regimes is a constant burden in the face of uncertain funding sources," Sills said. "We are all so privileged to live in a community that recognizes the need for this service."

Event tickets can be purchased by calling the WB reservations line at 1-800-766-0449 when sales begin on Sept. 1. Only 130 tickets will be sold to the party.

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