In this season of giving, the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation (WBF) has been feeling especially generous, announcing it has granted $250,000 to Sea to Sky initiatives.
Formed in 1992, the foundation is committed to assisting organizations across the corridor, particularly those with an emphasis on benefiting children, youth and families. The non-profit was able to double the amount granted to local organizations during this round of funding, thanks in part to the money raised through this June's SkyHigh dinner served aboard the Peak 2 Peak, and the nearly $180,000 raised at this summer's charity golf tournament.
"I'm so proud of our fundraising efforts and the fact that we had a record-breaking year at our golf tournament," said WBF executive director Mei McCurdy. "It's amazing the support we get from the community and that results directly in how much money we can give away to non-profit organizations."
The largest grant amounted to $35,000, awarded to Whistler Search and Rescue (WSAR) for the purchase of two radio repeaters, antennas and other equipment that will allow responders to communicate more effectively in the backcountry. This matches an earlier donation by the American Friends of Whistler.
"Now every individual team member can talk to other team members anywhere those towers will provide coverage to, whereas before we could only talk back one way to base and it wasn't even very good at that," explained WSAR director Brad Sills. "It will make things a little bit faster and safer, too."
Pemberton District Search and Rescue also received $25,000 to purchase new equipment.
Another $32,000 was put towards the recently upgraded Rainbow Theatre in the Whistler Conference Centre for new draperies and a sound system connector that gives groups the ability to connect with the new, high-end projector purchased by the foundation in 2014 for the Whistler Film Festival.
Just over $26,000 was given to the Whistler Arts Council for the foundation's Presentation Technology Fund. The money will buy a new projector and mount.
Florence Petersen Park will get a facelift thanks to a second installment of funds for the Whistler Public Library to complete their Sun Deck Project, creating an additional access point to the library as well as providing more space for outdoor programming.
The Whistler Sailing Association was granted funds to buy additional student boats, as well as new motors for coaching vessels, bringing the non-profit's fleet up to 37.
"This will allow us to really improve the experience we can give to our students by having some really quality equipment," said the club's head coach, Francois Hebert.
"The foundation has really been instrumental in making our organization what it is and has really allowed us to keep it a community club."
Another $10,000 went to The Rotary Club of Whistler for its Walter Zebrowski Scholarship Fund, awarded to a Whistler Secondary School graduate who has demonstrated leadership and outstanding community service. To date, 17 scholarships have been granted.
Other initiatives that have received funding include the Whistler Secondary School, Myrtle Philip Community School, the Whistler Waldorf School, the Whistler and Pemberton food banks, BC Bobsleigh and Skeleton Association and the Squamish Skating Club.
To date, the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation has given over $8.5 million to deserving community organizations.
For the full list of grant recipients, or to submit an application for funding, visit www.whistlerblackcombfoundation.com.