Contributions to go towards critical care equipment
For his friends, Dave Sheets embodied everything that is good about Whistler. He was honest, hard-working, loved his girlfriend, his dog and the great outdoors, and he didnt take life too seriously. He was also a gifted athlete whose abilities as a skier were as great as his love of the mountains.
Sheets, 31, died of a head injury on the afternoon of Feb. 12 after an accidental collision with another skier. The Ski Patrol has looked into the incident, and found neither skier to be at fault. Sheets was wearing a helmet at the time, but even helmets have their limits in certain situations.
Like a lot of locals, Sheets took his risks in the mountains, but he was not careless with life. Proof of this is the fact that he had filled out an organ donor card, and six different people in critical need were saved by this gesture.
His funeral service and memorial party attracted more than 300 people from all walks of life. The outpouring of grief quickly became an outpouring of generosity as friends rallied to create a positive legacy for Sheets.
"With the present economy, there is a real need for fundraising for critical care equipment in this corridor," says Chris Quinlan, a friend of Sheets who helped to organize the memorial fund. "We ski, we mountain bike, we rock climb. We do all of this at a very high level, and were losing one or two friends a year. In Daves honour, and for ourselves, were going to make an effort to get the equipment the doctors need to save lives."
Immediately after Sheets death, a rumour went around that the Whistler Health Care Centre had to fly in a special drill from Victoria in an attempt to help Sheets. The day after the accident, Rob Boyd passed around the hat at a Kokannee Valley Race Series apres party to raise money to buy a drill for the health care centre. He also won the pair of draw prize skis, which he then auctioned off to raise even more money.
Although the rumour turned out to be false, the idea to raise money for critical care equipment took hold. Within a few weeks, the fund had raised over $10,000. Six pairs of skis were auctioned off in different circumstances, including a pair of Sheets skis.
Others chipped in by visiting Quinlans coffee shop, Behind The Grind, on a day when all the proceeds from the coffee would go towards the fund. That raised $1,100, with donations in the jar matching the proceeds from the sale of coffee.