X-mas cards with Whistler images benefit leukemia research 

For the last 45 years, the Leukemia Research Fund of Canada has been raising money for a variety of types of leukemia research. Now the organization is embarking on a campaign to raise its profile.

The ultimate goal, says Western Regional Director Darren Soy, is to go from an annual $2 million to $10 million in the next five years. One way the LRFC is hoping to do that is through a series of Christmas cards which allow corporate and company logos – and personalized messages – to be displayed on the inside of cards depicting images of Whistler Village and Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains.

"I believe this is the first year we’ve had images of Whistler," Soy said. "And I think it’s based on the popularity of Whistler, obviously. But our volunteers who go through the images felt the cards should have these images on them. And we’ve just received a large order from Tourism Whistler, so it seems to be a good choice."

Called a 2000 Christmas Card Collection, the cards can either be purchased with or without a Christmas message, and the company logos will be placed to look attractive on the inside of the card. Standard packages of 10 cards with envelopes are available for $12. The cards are 5 x 7 inches, and feature prints of oil paintings depicting Christmas scenes by artist such as Brian Scott, Jordanka Simmerlein and Pat Christie. Photographer Bruce Ambrose offers another option, with a photo-card of Black Tusk from Blackcomb Mountain.

Another collection by painter Ann Hurst has images of a back bowl on Whistler, ski scamps on a Whistler Mountain cat track, and a very realistic depiction of the scene around the lightboard at the top of Blackcomb Mountain. Hurst’s oil and water colour paintings are now on display at the First Street Gallery in North Vancouver. Cards through the gallery are available individually or in sets of six. In addition, Hurst's paintings, which sell for anywhere from $295 for an 8 x 10 to, $1,800 for a 30 x 40, are available for 12-month lease. At the end of the lease, 50 per cent of the lease-fee is put toward the purchase price of the painting.

Soy says the Christmas card images are all donated to the LRFC. Any custom work to the cards is added to the overall price and is paid directly to the printer.

"For example, if you want to purchase a $12 package, it all goes toward Leukemia research," Soy explained. "Additional costs vary depending on the size of the company logo and the message they want on the card."

Any purchase of more than $20 is eligible for a tax deductible receipt.

Several options are available, so for more information, contact the LRFC at 1-800-570-8655, or visit their web-site at www.leukemia.bc.org. For the First Street Gallery, call 604-986-2664.

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