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Button campaign to highlight gay tourism and benefit AIDS Vancouver and Tsunami relief has joined forces with 22 local businesses to increase awareness of gay tourism while raising funds for AIDS Vancouver and Tsunami relief.

The fledgling website is aiming to distribute 2,800 buttons during Altitude ’05, Jan. 29-Feb. 7. The e-company will donate a quarter for each button distributed along with the funds collected at the various businesses offering the distinctive purple buttons.

"We are doing this to raise money for two great charities and to show community support for gay visitors who typically spend more money while they are here than any other demographic," says Sean Kearn, owner of "If they see how supportive Whistler can be it is more likely they will come back to vacation again at another time of year."

Kearn says that the Whistler business community has been very supportive of the campaign, with companies as diverse as Whistler Real Estate Company, Solarice and The Westin coming on board. To insure maximum participation, the button comes in two designs, one for gays and lesbians and another designed for allies. Kearn hopes that people will donate a dollar or two when obtaining their buttons as the money will literally save lives.

"AIDS Vancouver is a great organization that has a big impact on all of B.C. We want to remind everyone that this disease still exists and people still need our help here at home," explains Kearn.

"Tsunami relief, being the largest disaster in recent history, was an obvious choice. The world has to unite in helping these people get back on their feet.  Every little bit helps."