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Letters to the Editor for the week of October 26th

Candy donations needed Halloween at Tapley's Farm is a special and important event for the kids and parents who live in Whistler.
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Candy donations needed

Halloween at Tapley's Farm is a special and important event for the kids and parents who live in Whistler.

If you don't live down there and have never given out candy, you have no idea (about the number) of people that come to your door. It's awesome, it's incredible, and it's madness.

The schools and the grocery stores accept candy donations to hand out to the neighbourhood, to ease the supply that the neighbourhood needs to purchase.

I urge you to donate to this event, especially if you have children.

With such a small trick-or-treating area, most of the older kids go around multiple times, changing parts of their costumes. I can't even find fault with this, as it is what I would have done as a kid!

However, last year, we had to close the door at 6:30 p.m., which is way too early.

We gave out 650 pieces of candy in 1.5 hours.

All I am asking is that if you have kids, please buy a bag of candy and help us out — please! 

Jamie DrummondWhistler

SAR raises over $75K

Oct. 14 marked our 18th year for the annual Whistler Search and Rescue Wine'd Up Gourmet Dinner & Auction Fundraiser. Every year, this single event raises vital funds to support our incredible community of 33 volunteers who donate their time 24/7 at a moment's call for service.

This year has been extremely busy for Whistler Search and Rescue. We've clocked in over 46 searches and rescues serving our local community, provincial and international visitors.

We are seeing a trend towards more specialized rescues that involve avalanche and crevasse medical evacuations, including mountain bikers and hikers. Training our volunteers involves certification in over 22 skill sets, all of which require physical demands.

In particular, we are seeing an uptick in rescues requiring helicopter transport due to the nature of our geography and requirement to safely extract injured persons.

Training and keeping our volunteers certified is a significant financial commitment. This is why our annual fundraiser is vitally important to ensure our certification standards continue to be met and sustained to meet the ongoing and growing demands.

Wine'd Up Annual Gourmet Dinner & Auction could not happen without generous support from our amazing event partners since its inception — Whistler Blackcomb, the United States Consulate, Dana Lee Consulting — our longtime partner of this event, Gary Raymond, President of The American Friends of Whistler and this year, the outstanding contribution from Whistler's own culinary chefs, including Araxi, Nita Lake Lodge, Fairmont Chateau Whistler, Whistler Blackcomb and Whistler Cooks.

In addition, our heartfelt thanks go to our local and event partners: Sabre Rentals, Garibaldi Graphics, Pique and The Question, Senka Florists, Whistler Brewing, Nita Lake Lodge, BC Adventure Smart and PSAV. We also recognize our many generous donors, over 150 businesses and individuals from Whistler and Vancouver that without question, support our event year after year.

We realize there are many societies and charities in Whistler who draw upon the same group of businesses, so we thank you for your continued contributions and donations.

Wine'd Up 2017, held at Dusty's Creekside, sold out within the first two weeks, which speaks to the support of our amazing community. We thank and recognize our community of supporters throughout the Sea to Sky, who joined us for this delightful experience of gourmet food, wine tasting and lively auction. We beat our own expectations, once again, on the generosity from our guests, and we can't thank you enough.

Lastly, this event could not happen without the dedication of our event committee, which spends a tireless amount of time planning, organizing, and managing the details — this literally takes nine months of effort. On behalf of Whistler Search and Rescue, we are grateful to the efforts of our superlative organizing committee: Janice Hulse, Sharon Tyrrell, Rosemary Cook, Steve LeClair, Sue Stafford and Greg Newton.

It's extraordinary that we have been able to hold this event for 18 years running.

We hope to continue this tradition for many years. It's a true testament to the incredible community we live in — a community that supports each other, and our many guests and visitors who come to enjoy the wondrous beauty Whistler has to offer.

Brad Sills
President, Whistler Search & Rescue

Celebrating authors and stories

How do you stoke the fire in kids about reading and writing? Feed them great books. And get real live authors into the classroom, to get young learners thinking about stories, and the writing craft of how to tell a story. 

This September, more than 2,200 students participated in the Authors in the Schools program, which brought four award-winning Canadian authors to present their newest books to students from 16 schools in Squamish, Whistler, Pemberton and Lil'wat Nation.

Local author Sara Leach presented her book Slug Days, and helped Grade 2 and 3 students make up a story on the spot. Cary Fagan, author of Mort Ziff is Not Dead, read to Grade 4 and 5 students and played from a mandolin he made with his own hands. Susin Nielsen captivated Grade 8 and 9s with her lively reading from her latest YA novel Optimists Die First, and Indigenous author Drew Hayden Taylor talked to Grade 11 and 12 students about his career trajectory and his book of short stories Take Us to Your Chief.

Over 530 copies of the authors' books in total were purchased from our program supporter Armchair Books and given to classrooms up and down the corridor for schools to read, study, and keep as a legacy for the future. 

We would like to give hearty thanks to the teachers, teacher-librarians and principals for their support and commitment to this program.

Stella Harvey is the Founder and Artistic Director of AITS and entices authors from all over the country to meet the enthusiastic kids in our corridor.

Pat MacKenzie and Libby McKeever provide sage advice and volunteer assistance throughout the program.

The AITS program is organized by the Whistler Writers Festival, and is generously funded by the BC Arts Council, Whistler Blackcomb Foundation, Province of British Columbia, Community Foundation of Whistler, Rotary Club of Whistler Millennium and the Whistler Public Library.

Our hope is that students who get to meet the award-winning, Canadian and Indigenous writers of the books they're reading will not only be inspired to read and write more, but to tell their own stories. 

Rebecca Wood Barrett, Program Manager
Authors in the Schools
The Whistler Writing Society

Celebrating 85 years

Thank you to everyone who came out on the evening of Oct.19 to celebrate the Pemberton and District Chamber of Commerce's 85th year. Stories were heard from past presidents Louis Potvin, Sandy Ryan, Paul Vacirca and Jan Kennett, with vice Judy Bourhis.Shirley Henry was honoured for her work with the chamber for the past 27 years. Thank you to our sponsors: High and Dry Storage, Mountainview Storage, Pemberton Valley Supermarket and Walsh Restoration and Storage and also to Danielle Menzel for buying the first drink for everyone. 

Julie Kelly
Vice Chair, Pemberton Chamber of Commerce