The major Whistler Blackcomb Foundation grant this season is good news for skiers and bikers in Pemberton.
Jessica Turner, president of the Pemberton BMX Society, said she learned about six weeks ago that her organization was getting a joint grant with the Village of Pemberton to improve the recently built snow skills area and the BMX track. Between the two organizations they are sharing in $40,000 from the foundation.
The major donation from the foundation will allow the BMX club to expand the track and raise the height of the start hill, said Turner.
“We’ve decided to become a sanctioned track,” she said Sunday morning.
Becoming a sanctioned track will pave the way for big races that could attract competitors from other communities, Turner said. Her group hopes to complete the track upgrades by spring.
Turner said she was super excited when she learned the WB Foundation was offering the grant.
“Its incredible. Its nice to have that support behind us,” said Turner. “It’s been kind of like that the whole way along. It has gained positive momentum all the way.”
Since the track was constructed earlier this year, Turner said a large number of kids aged ten and under have been using the track with their parents on a regular basis.
According to Turner, the track has the potential to attract a significant number BMX enthusiasts to Pemberton once the community starts hosting large races after sanctioning is in place.
The Whistler Museum and Archives is one step closer to completing its new skiing heritage exhibit thanks to a $15,000 donation from the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation.
According to the leader of the project, the money will go towards finalizing the design of the exhibit. Brad Nichols said the exhibit focuses on the development of Whistler. Two early ski operations at Rainbow and Cypress Lodge will be featured in the exhibit along with the work of Franz Wilhelmsen to build Whistler Mountain.
“We’re going to be redesigning a part of the museum specifically about the evolution of skiing in Whistler,” said Nichols.
The next step for Nichols is to review the project budget and determine if more money is needed to have the exhibit ready for viewing in November.
Check the Thursday edition of Pique Newsmagazine for more on the WB Foundation charity contributions.
Here is a full list of the other organizations that benefited from this round of WB Foundation awards:• Signal Hill Elementary = $30,000 for playground equipment
• Britannia Beach Fire Department = $25,000 for new equipment
• Whistler Blackcomb Freestyle Club = $10,000+ for an Olympic Size Trampoline
• Sea to Sky Community Services = $8,500 for the Pemberton Food Bank and the Whistler Parent Tot Program
• Whistler Community Services Society = $6,000 to purchase a new recycling truck
• Squamish Food Bank Society = $5,000 for food
• Whistler Waldorf School = $7,350 for the computer & science lab
• Cheakamus Community Garden = $5,000 to purchase boxes and soil
The Foundation also matched $30,000 in Whistler Blackcomb employee donations to the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation Environmental Fund.
Other organizations that received funding were: Zero Ceiling, the Walk Safe Program, Howe Sound Women’s Centre Society and Big Brothers/Big Sisters of the Sea to Sky Corridor.