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Troutsmen have Whistler's back

Leisure club steps up for charitable causes, in the name of fun



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They are not the Lions Club or Rotary, which are comprised of business leaders and established members of the community, and which raise tens of thousands of dollars for charities. They are the "other guys," throwing events for younger people that don't have as much money.

"Everybody has something to contribute," says Ricketts. "As long as they have heart and want to have fun, anybody can come out.

"Everything helps. Not everybody can contribute a lot, but a can of beans is still something."

That's why the group emphasizes events over fundraisers; events bring out people and create opportunities for raising money without asking for donations.

"The goal is to make it fun for people - they come out, have a good night and support something at the same time. It's social development, it's social collateral and it's fun."

Steckman says the group is getting positive feedback from both the Lions and Rotary for their approach, and he even attended a Rotary meeting to get a feel for the club. They've borrowed a few things from the Rotary for their own meetings, including a system where members can be fined. Some of the fineable offences include talking over others, not being "leisurely" and falling asleep at meetings - something that happens when you meet at midnight on Saturday night.

Rich Glass, the club's secretary, says the goal is to grow.

"We want to get bigger, host bigger events, do more in the community," he says. "We already support a lot of events, but ideally we'd like to have at least one event every month," says Glass. The Troutsmen are already building relationships with stakeholders like the Resort Municipality of Whistler, the RCMP, Whistler Blackcomb and others, which in turn is creating more opportunities.

"We have the whole Whistler Olympic Plaza in the summer, which I can see us using to host bigger things that reach the entire community," he adds.

Some of the events already hosted by the Troutsmen include a street hockey tournament, which will return in May, regular cheeseburger picnics, poker night, the Valentine's Day Troutsmen Ball, a "Lawn Leisure Day" at Rainbow Park with a slip'n'slide, bocce and other events, their Fall Classic and annual general meeting, and more. One of their longest-running events is their MOLF tournament, which is short for "Multilevel Golf." The one-day tournament features nine holes of pitch and putt in Pemberton, 18 holes of wiffle golf, 18 holes of mini-putt and 18 holes of disk golf.