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Norwegians leave furniture to community groups



Local community organizations will benefit from some hand-me-down 2010 furniture into the future.

The Norwegian Church Abroad, which made its home at Millennium Place during the Olympic Games, left behind some Ikea furniture including coaches, loveseats, tables and chairs.

Among the community groups to get the Norwegian furniture are the Teddy Bear Daycare and the Whistler Community Services Society, as well as Millennium Place.

"It was really nice relationship that we had established with them," said Louise Lundy, interim general manager of Millennium Place. "They were just lovely, lovely people and they really had great success... They just made us feel like family."

In return, Millennium Place donated in-kind office work back to them "in the spirit of co-operation and friendship."

"It was a great experience," added Lundy.

Tourism Whistler, which operated Whistler Media House from Millennium Place for the unaccredited media during the Games, also left behind two plasma TVs. That, said Lundy, was in exchange for use of the technical equipment in the theatre such as microphones.

On a much larger scale, the British Olympic Association donated all of the team's equipment from the athletes' villages in Vancouver and Whistler to MoreSports, a charity in downtown east Vancouver.

Among the equipment donated were televisions, fridges, office and lounge furniture, printers and scanners.

MoreSports was founded in 1999 and works to reduce barriers, such as cost and lack of programming, to sport and physical activity.

The House of Switzerland, which had locations both in Whistler and Vancouver, hosted a charity auction on its website, selling off products from its partners and sponsors including exclusive Swiss Olympic celebration jackets, coffee machines, Lindt chocolate gift baskets, fondue sets and raclette grills.

The money went to Streetohome, a partnership between the Vancouver Foundation, the City of Vancouver and the province of British Columbia, dedicated to providing access to safe, standard and affordable housing.

"We are honoured that the House of Switzerland is donating their time and resources to benefit the residents of Vancouver," said Barbara Grantham, acting president of Streetohome Foundation. "Their generous commitment to this community demonstrates the Olympic ideals of unity and humanity."

Last week VANOC announced that it was donating $300,000 to youth in Haiti. The Olympic organizing committee said in a release the donation is to commemorate the Olympic Truce and is meant to help Haitain children in the wake of January's earthquake.

VANOC's contribution was partially raised by workforce members who collected money at public events like the Olympic torch relay and the Cultural Olympiad.



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