The more than $8,000 raised at last weekend’s Umberto’s Cup tennis tournament will be used to initiate a volunteer program at the Whistler Health Care Centre. Whistler Health Care Society Chairman Paul Burrows says the society would like to have the program operational by the winter season. "We plan to start small and find ways volunteers can be used, based on their experience," Burrows says. Usually volunteer programs are only run in hospitals. The Whistler Health Care Centre is considered more of a diagnostic and treatment centre than a hospital because it is not open 24 hours a day and is not designed to hold patients overnight, although that has been done. However, because the Health Care Centre serves an active local and visitor population consultants recommended a volunteer program. The volunteers will help staff with the non-medical duties, such as moving people, helping families and friends of patients, looking after patients’ clothing and equipment, running errands and carrying messages. Burrows says the money raised last weekend will go toward setting up the volunteer program, paying staff while they train volunteers and uniforms for volunteers. "The Ministry (of Health) doesn’t provide any funds for volunteer programs, and they’re not covered by any other funds," Burrows says. The money raised last weekend came from the entry fees paid by the eighteen local and Vancouver teams in the tennis tournament, through the sale of raffle tickets and dinner tickets and through donations by many of the teams that won money in the tennis tournament.