RBC barks out challenge to raise funds for WAG 

Whistler animal shelter faces financial crunch

"I think we are in to the tens of thousands of dollars in terms of what we donate in reduced costs." Dr. David Lane
  • "I think we are in to the tens of thousands of
    dollars in terms of what we donate in
    reduced costs." Dr. David Lane

Whistler’s Royal Bank is sending out a challenge to other businesses in Whistler and Pemberton to fundraise for Whistler Animals Galore in July.

"There are so many dog lovers here (at RBC) and we really wanted to help WAG out," said Lara Wall, operations support officer.

Staff at RBC decided to issue the challenge after learning that WAG is struggling with money issues following cuts to funding from the RMOW.

"We don’t want to see them closed so we started brainstorming on what kind of fundraising we can do to help them out," said Wall.

The staff is planning a potluck Friday with participants donating $5 to take part. They will also have "jean Fridays" throughout July where staff will pay $5 for the privilege of wearing denim to work and they are even thinking of offering dog cookies to canine customers for a donation to WAG.

"We haven’t worked it all out yet," said Wall. "But hopefully this will help them out and help them stay open to do the great work they do all the time."

Other businesses are already on board.

Pemberton Councillor Mark Blundell plans to fundraise at his Pemberton Valley Supermarket.

"Certainly this is a worthwhile cause for the community," he said. "People have to take responsibility."

Blundell said that Pemberton’s council does support WAG’s work, but there is simply no money to help them out at this time.

"From what I gathered at council we certainly support their initiative and hope they do well," he said.

"It is a good facility and it is needed by the community but it’s a question of where do we get the money. We are caught between a rock and a hard place on this one."

Steven Turner, owner of Whistler’s Local Automotive, is also taking part. He plans to donate $5 to WAG each time someone uses their Chamber of Commerce Community Card to buy vehicle repairs throughout the summer.

"My kids are actively involved with WAG and after listening to them talk about it I know it is a good thing to donate to," said Turner.

"We love our pets and this is something we can do to help animals that don’t have a home or need help. This community needs WAG."

The community fundraising challenge couldn’t come at a better time said WAG executive director Carol Coffey.

"It is just amazing," she said of the challenge.

"It is a great idea…. (And doing it in) July is great timing as we actually have two fundraisers we are planning in July. We are doing a Hawaiian Luau with Joey Chans on July 12 and then our dog wash, which we do every year, is coming up July 22."

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