Four Whistlerites were honoured for their outstanding contributions to the community Dec. 3 as part of the HSBC Whistler WinterStart Festival opening ceremonies in the village. Paul Burrows, Maureen Douglas, Dave Cathers and Trevor Roote were recognized for their commitment to Whistler, their enthusiasm and the contributions they have made to the community. "It’s always hard to select winners," said Rick Clare, W5 Board member and one of the judges. "This year’s winners have all been living in Whistler for many years and have made significant contributions to the community as well as being unique individuals. They all share a deep commitment and enthusiasm for Whistler." Roote, one of those Whistlerites than can claim to have been here "since the beginning," was the community’s first parks and recreation commissioner. His vision contributed to the creation of the Valley Trail system which linked Whistler parks. He ensured right of way access for the trail. "Sometimes you just have to be a bulldozer to get things done," said Roote. It is this determination and the resulting legacy that is still being appreciated by locals and visitors to the community. Long-time resident Cathers is a dedicated dad, husband and community leader. He was instrumental in setting up Whistler Search and Rescue and has been a key player in youth activities, including Boy Scouts, junior hockey and baseball. Clare, who has twice been rescued by Cathers, was more than happy to include him in the line-up. Douglas arrived on the Whistler scene in 1990 and was hired by the then Whistler Resort Association. Among her achievements she helped bring summer street entertainers to town as part of her work as director of festivals and events. She was also instrumental in setting up the Dandelion Daycare Society and has worked on committees such as the First Night and the Whistler Children’s Centre committees. She recently branched out on her own and is contracted to Whistler/Blackcomb to produce one of the biggest spring parties yet to be seen — Reunion 2000. Burrows was the founder, owner and publisher of the Whistler Question newspaper. He was also a founding member of the Whistler Singers. Burrows has been an active member of the Rotary Club, Search and Rescue and the Chamber of Commerce. He has chaired the Whistler Health Clinic Board, the Sea to Sky Economic Development Commission and the Whistler Health Foundation. Burrows will also go down in local history for his guitar performances at L’Apres — now Dusty’s — back in the 1960s, when he was also a member of the Whistler Ski Patrol. The outspoken columnist is also a bus tour guide for the Whistler Museum and Archives Society. This is the third year four locals have been saluted as part of the WinterStart festival. Some of the recipients have public lives while others toil behind the scenes. The winners all received a glass plate etched by local artist Pascal Simon incorporating a design by native artist Clarence Mills.