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Cyclists return from Italy with slide show, funds


Five local men who bike-toured through Italy on the From the Knee Up Whistler Friendship Tour are back from their three-week fundraising trip and will be sharing their experiences this weekend during a slide show.

Pat Parker, Shawn Parker, Sandy Ryan, Rob Giffin and Tim Wales pedalled their way through Italy from April 24 to May 17 in the hopes of raising $7,000 for Whistler’s Rotary International Youth Exchange Program.

"This seemed like a perfect match — a project that supports youth in our community and travel," said Pat Parker.

The Whistler Rotary Club sponsors a 16-to 18-year-old student to spend an academic year studying culture, customs and language in a foreign country. Students are chosen based on varying merits including their ability to be a good ambassador.

"I am very excited that these gentlemen have decided to support such a worthwhile cause," said Rotary Club president Nicole Chetwynd. "We hope this bursary will encourage more students to seize the opportunity."

The newly created bursary will make the program accessible to all students in the Whistler, Pemberton and Mount Currie areas regardless of their financial situation.

The riders hope to embark on annual bike tours to help perpetuate the bursary fund. A trip to Greece and Turkey is already being planned for next year.

In 1999, the same group raised funds for the John Ryan Regeneration Tour during a trip to Ireland.

Black’s Pub will be hosting the slide show Saturday, June 2 at 8 p.m. There will also be a silent auction.

To make a donation towards the bursary fund, contact Black’s Pub at 932-6945 or Nicole Chetwynd at 905-4082.