harvest swing 

Saturday’s swing raising money for food bank It’s time to feed yourself, swing and swill with the locals while helping to raise money for the food bank. The annual Harvest Swing Dance in support of the Whistler Community Services Society is taking place this Saturday, Oct. 24 kicking off at 8 p.m. with a buffet and silent auction. The fun goes off with the Arrythmics belting out the good stuff with surgical precision as everyone gets together to celebrate the season with good reason. The band, composed of local doctors, is all about making people dance. The musicians will play classic rock ’n’ roll tunes and songs everyone knows and loves to dance to. "They’re back by popular demand every year," says Janet McDonald of WCSS. "In fact there’s no way I could ever change the band." Prizes for the silent auction number 130 and include gift certificates for doggie resorts and grooming, accommodation, symphony tickets, dinners and a whole host of other goodies. Last year the event raised $12,000 net for the society. This year McDonald says that funds raised will be spread out over community service ventures but primarily it will be spent on the food bank. "It’s empty at the moment," McDonald says of the local food bank. With many people currently between jobs, until the mountains open, there have been greater demands on the food bank than normal. Meanwhile, food banks around the province are also currently raising money through a pilot donation program run in conjunction with large supermarkets. The pilot program (which operates locally out of the IGA in Marketplace) encourages shoppers to pick up a FoodShare certificate which is scanned in with their groceries. Through the certificate, shoppers are donating $2 to local food bank programs. The money is spent on purchasing B.C. produce, thus consumers are supporting both the food bank and the local agri-food industry. But so far there has not been a huge response to the program locally, McDonald says. "There’s not much awareness of this program. Other food outlets like Nesters and Food Plus wanted to get involved but the pilot program is too small. So there’s not a huge amount of money pouring in." The local IGA, like other grocery stores in town, also has a bin where food bank donations can be made. At this point the Harvest Swing remains the primary fund-raiser for the Whistler Community Services Society. The Harvest Swing is especially important this year as the WCSS did not apply for a grant in aid. So if you want to do your bit and have a down home good time tickets — priced at $30, including food — are available from Whistler Community Services or at the door. Party tickets for the post-buffet festivities, at $10, will be available at the door from 9:30 p.m. onwards.

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