Friends of Whistlers Neil Falkner are holding a memorial putting tournament this Sunday, with proceeds going towards a scholarship fund to help youth to participate in Outward Bound programs.
Falkner loved the outdoors. As a ski patroller, he combined his desire to help others with his love for snow science and passion for skiing.
During a snowstorm and whiteout in April 2002, Falkner lost his life skiing the famous Wapta Traverse in Banff National Park.
In the months that followed his death his friends and family decided his life needed to be celebrated and remembered.
His mother and three close friends created the Neil Falkner Memorial Foundation to enable youths to explore the backcountry he loved so much through Outward Bound Canada.
To raise funds, the Foundation is hosting a fundraiser this Sunday, July 27, at the Riverside Greens Putting Course. The First Annual Neil Falkner Memorial Foundation Putting Tournament takes place from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Outward Bound programs challenge participants to experience physical and emotional successes, pushing beyond their ideas of what is personally possible and developing self-confidence, responsibility and the ability to work with others.
At 17, Falkner attended an Outward Bound program which sparked his passion for the wilderness, mountains and for challenging himself and others.
"It changed his life, it was amazing" said close friend Chris Roscoe.
"He went from being a city kid from East Vancouver to a mountain man."
For friends and family, it seemed fitting to provide similar opportunities for young people who may be at risk or otherwise unable to afford such an experience.
"Some of the kids in the city dont ever get a chance to experience the outdoors, we want to give one or two of them a chance each year to learn more about themselves," said Roscoe.
The foundation has already raised funds to send one seventeen year-old student from Britannia Secondary School on a 17-day Outward Bound Coast Mountain Adventure Tour in August, valued at $2,400.
The Foundation is calling for donations from local businesses of prizes for the tournaments silent auction and offering corporate sponsorship opportunities. Staff teams are encouraged to enter the event.
The shotgun tournament is $25 per person and takes place on a natural grass "putters only" facility. Participants can either bring their own putter or rent one for an additional donation of $1.
There will be time for socialising after the game in the beer garden and there is a playground and games room available to entertain the children.