Vail Resorts' CEO Rob Katz donates $200,000 to Whistler charities 

Katz and wife, Elana Amsterdam, will donate more than US$2.5 million to support charitable work in mountain towns

click to enlarge PHOTO SUBMITTED - Rob Katz and his wife, Elana Amsterdam, will support the Whistler Community Services Society (WCSS) and and the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation's COVID relief fund with US$100,000 each.
  • Photo submitted
  • Rob Katz and his wife, Elana Amsterdam, will support the Whistler Community Services Society (WCSS) and and the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation's COVID relief fund with US$100,000 each.

The head of Vail Resorts and his wife are donating $200,000 to two Whistler non-profits in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

CEO Rob Katz and his wife, Elana Amsterdam, are donating $100,000 towards Whistler Community Services Society (WCSS) and $100,000 towards the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation's COVID relief fund.

In total, the couple will donate more than US$2.5 million to support charitable work in mountain towns that Vail Resorts operates in.

"I cannot recall another moment in my lifetime that has caused so much disruption to our lives—to our work, to our health and to our communities," said Katz, in a March 30 release.

"Throughout this incredibly challenging time, two of our absolute priorities have been, and will continue to be, the health and wellbeing of our employees, and mountain communities.

"What makes our resorts so special is where they're located and the passionate people who live there. As we navigate this situation, it's essential we continue to support our employees and the vitality of our communities, providing partnership when it's needed most."

Lori Pyne, interim executive director of WCSS, said that the $100,000 donation will help the non-profit respond to the growing needs of Whistlerites.

"Whistler Community Services Society greatly appreciates this grant from the Katz Amsterdam Charitable Trust," said Pyne in a release.

WCSS has temporarily closed down its popular Re-Use-It Centre and Re-Build-it Centre to be in compliance with federal government and medical experts.

The donation will help alleviate the financial strain that this has caused, as so much of the revenue for the WCSS comes from those two operations, explained Pyne.

"Our funding model is social enterprise, which typically funds 75 per cent of our social services, and we have been forced to close these stores in compliance with the federal government and our medical experts," she said.

"Contributions like this help ensure that we can keep up with demand for our essential services of the food bank and our outreach services, which we expect to soar in the coming months."

An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the $200,000 being contributed to Whistler organizations were in U.S. funds.

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