Merlin’s to host fundraiser for family of David Christian 

Irish national to be remembered following March 21 death

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Friends are hosting a fundraiser for the family of David Christian Sunday, April 15 at Merlin's.

The body of the Irish national, who hoped to make Whistler his home, was found March 21 in Horstman Creek, likely dead of hypothermia.

He had been out celebrating St. Patrick's Day with friends though they are at a loss as to explain how he ended up in the Lost Lake area.

He was last seen at 11:30 p.m. on March 17 at Merlin's and was heard from again at 2:30 a.m. the next morning via a text message. He was expected to head to Vancouver on Sunday for mass, and with David working opposite shifts to his roommate he wasn't reported missing until he failed to show up to work on Monday morning.

A search effort got underway immediately with ski patrol avalanche dogs, RCMP dog teams, Search and Rescue, volunteers from the community and staff at Whistler Blackcomb, but in the end it was a member of the public who found his shoes on the 15th fairway of the Fairmont Chateau Golf Course on Wednesday, March 21 and called police. They followed footprints through the snow, and eventually found his body in Horstman Creek.

Friends now believe David, known as "Irish Dave" to friends, may have got on a bus to the Benchlands instead of to Staff Housing, From there they suspect he followed the wrong trail into the woods and became disorientated while trying to take a shortcut home. Police said the cause of death is consistent with hypothermia.

Christian spoke to his mom, Marie, just hours before he went missing. She had climbed a local mountain outside of Dublin, Ireland and was thinking of her son thousand of kilometres away in the mountain town that he was planning to call home. So she called him.

They spoke a little about work and plans for the summer, and whom he was celebrating the day with. He cut it short because he couldn't hear very well over the din of the celebration at Merlin's, but his last words as they said goodbye were "I love you."

"I can rest easy with that," said Marie, who came to Whistler with David's stepfather to help with the search for her son. She flew home with his remains March 29.

The fundraiser at Merlin's will get underway about 6 p.m. with a silent auction and raffle including items such as rounds of Golf, Private Snow School Lesson, hotel room nights, a 2012/13 Edge Card and much more. There will also be a 50/50 draw, and door prizes. DJ Jayse Aspey will be spinning some great tunes as well. Minimum donation of $5 cover gets you in with monies raised going to Christian's family to offset costs incurred in coming to Canada.

With files from Andrew Mitchell.

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