Its been a little over a year since restaurateur and host Joel Thibault passed away after his battle with cancer, but his memory will remain alive through a sport he was famous for playing quite badly.
On Wednesday, June 28, friends of Thibault will host the inaugural Joel Thibault Hospitality Cup at Nicklaus North to raise money for the B.C. Cancer Foundation, as well as to memorialize a true Whistler pioneer.
"Its really to celebrate the hospitality industry. Everybody who works here is connected to the hospitality industry in some way, and Joel was considered the best ever," said friend and tournament co-organizer Daryl "Rastaman" Auwai. "We have more than 30 local businesses in Whistler supporting this event, and thats because of the type of person that Joel was. Back in the 1980s, when Whistler was just getting off the ground, Chez Joel was the most popular place in Whistler. He really set the standard which many of us are still following."
The tournament is open to teams and individuals, who will be organized into teams, with a scramble format. Tickets will include a dinner the night before, the tournament on Wednesday, dinner and silent auction at The Den at Nicklaus North, and a post-tournament celebration at Bavaria, Joels former restaurant, with few games of petanque.
The cost is $175 to take part, but with dozens of local businesses and wine companies that worked with Thibault contributing Auwai says its likely that everyone will win a draw prize, and people will get their moneys worth. In addition, as an official fundraiser for the B.C. Cancer Foundation, all donations are tax deductible.
Spots are still open, and you can register in advance at Tapleys Neighbourhood Pub.
According to Auwai, Joel was famous for being a bad golfer, and once took six hours to place nine holes.
"After two holes he stopped for dinner and few drinks, and let everyone play through. He was famous for that kind of thing," he said.