Fundraisers help local students travel to Sister City 

Another group of students will experience the sights and sounds of Japan...

Another group of students will experience the sights and sounds of Japan during the annual student exchange with Whistler’s sister city.

Ten students and two chaperones will head to Karuizawa in early July for the 10-day exchange. But they need a little help to get there.

Before the exchange the students will hold two fundraisers to help pay for the trip.

A bottle drive fundraiser will take place on Sunday, May 23 from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Whistler Bottle Depot on Nesters Road.

Large donations of bottles and cans can be picked up by calling Sue at 604-902-2310 in advance.

A second fundraiser, the Easy Street Block Party, will take place on Sunday, May 30 from 4 to 8 p.m. It will be a neighbourhood get-together with live music, food and games for the whole family.

Tickets are $25/family or $10/person and are available by calling Anne Spence at 604-932-2617 or going to Rogers Chocolates or buying them at the event.

This is the fourth year in a row Whistler students have gone to Karuizawa on the exchange.

Each year, Karuizawa students come to Whistler during the March break to experience a little slice of Canadian life and the Whistler students go back in the summertime.

Karuizawa is an international resort, just over an hour outside Tokyo.

Just as the Japanese students live with Whistler families during their stay here, the local students will stay with Japanese families on their visit.

Exchange Co-ordinator with the municipality, Sue Oliver, said the first half of the exchange would not have been a success without the help of local individuals and businesses who contributed to the exchange program.

Among the businesses are Whistler-Blackcomb, which provided complimentary lift tickets, lessons, rentals and lunches for the Japanese guests. The Old Spaghetti Factory provided a meal for all 24-members of the group. Blackcomb Sleigh Rides, the Whistler Museum and Coast Mountain Photography also gave freely of time and services.

The Whistler Secondary School teachers and the host families were also critical to the success of the exchange, said Oliver.

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