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Whistler-Blackcomb Foundation distributes more than $100,000 in grants

The kids at Squamish’s Valleycliffe Elementary School are the big winners this year with the announcement this week that the Whistler-Blackcomb Foundation will donate $35,000 towards a new play structure.

The outdoor playground centre at the school has been deteriorating for years and was in desperate need of replacement. The school’s PAC is working hard to raise the remaining funds needed to complete the project.

"We received many worthy applications and it is always difficult to choose between them," said the Whistler-Blackcomb Foundation’s Executive Director Mei McCurdy. "There are so many groups who provide amazing services within our communities but we try to select the programs that best suit our mandate.

"The Foundation’s board of directors really believe that these grants will provide support to lasting community projects that benefit children, youth and families in the Sea to Sky Corridor."

This year the Whistler-Blackcomb Foundation awarded more than $100,000 in charitable grants to Sea to Sky non-profit organizations. Applications were received from 20 organizations totalling more than $250,000 in requests.

A total of $25,500 over three years was committed by the Foundation to the Whistler Kidsport program, which helps approximately 40 local children from financially restricted families participate in league sports each year.

Whistler Search and Rescue will receive $11,340 to purchase two new lightweight snowmobiles, which will replace out of date equipment. The new snowmobiles will enable them to access alpine areas with greater ease and more efficiently.

Don Ross Secondary School is to receive $10,000 for its Outdoor Leadership Semester Program. It provides students an opportunity to foster personal growth and learn about the various business and career opportunities related to the outdoor tourism industry.

Pemberton Fire and Rescue will receive $8,800 to purchase two self contained breathing apparatus packs used for entering burning buildings and when putting out car fires.

The Pemberton Youth Soccer Association will receive $6,700 to purchase coaches kits for all teams within their community. The kits will include much-needed essentials such as first aid supplies and safety gear.

The Foundation also donated $2,000 towards food and grocery gift certificates for Christmas hampers put together every year by the Squamish Community Christmas Care Program.

Pearl’s Place Transition House will receive $1,670 for furniture upgrades.

And the Whistler Gymnastics Club will receive $600 to replace a safety "crash mat" used by the club as well as many other groups in the community.

The Whistler-Blackcomb Foundation is dedicated to providing financial support to registered non-profit organizations whose activities provide benefit to residents of the Sea to Sky corridor in the areas of health, human services, education, recreation, arts and culture and the environment with an emphasis on children, youth and family programs.

Since 1993, the Foundation has given out more than $2.7 million dollars in grants. Application submission deadlines are Oct. 1 st and April 1 st of each year.