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The seventh annual BC Tel Mobility Winter Classic, which takes place Feb. 12-13, should be the most lucrative winter event to date for the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation. "We raised $100,000 last year and it looks like we’ll raise more money this year because we have 50 per cent more teams, so far," said Corinne Allison, acting executive director of the foundation. The Blackcomb Foundation was established in 1992 by Blackcomb Skiing Enterprises and was dedicated to the financial support of registered non-profit organizations whose activities benefit the residents of the Sea to Sky Corridor. Last fall the foundation, under the direction of President Dave Brownlie, changed its name to the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation to reflect the merging of the two mountains, but also the foundation’s focus on the community. The BC Tel Mobility Winter Classic, which includes a corporate team ski race and celebrity ski day, is one of three main fund-raising events held annually by the foundation. Others are the Husky Oil Mixed Golf Classic at Big Sky Golf and Country Club in September and the sale of Founder’s Passes, which were introduced last fall. A limited number of the exclusive Founder’s Passes were sold at $5,000 each. The passes are transferable and good at any of Intrawest’s mountain resorts in North America. The foundation has raised $750,000 in its brief history and provided grants to 27 charitable organizations last year, including a $400,000 commitment over two years to the Whistler Skier’s Chapel Society for a daycare facility in the new Whistler Millennium Place. Many of the BC Tel Mobility Winter Classic events are designed for corporate teams, including the celebrity ski day on Feb. 12 and the guess-your-time race on Feb. 13. However, two events are open to the public. The third annual Evening of Fine Wines and Cheeses at the Chateau Whistler on Feb. 12 will feature more than 125 wines from around the world. A Chef’s Cheese Plate competition, a silent auction and music from Pete and Chad are also part of the evening. Proceeds from the Evening of Fine Wine and Cheese go to the Whistler and Blackcomb Ski and Snowboard Clubs. Tickets are $30, available from either club or from the Chateau Whistler concierge desk. The annual Gala Dinner and Dance, held on Feb. 13 at the Roundhouse Lodge on Whistler Mountain, is also open to the public. This year’s gala event will have a "Jungle" theme, which will be reflected in the food, the entertainment and perhaps some of the auction items. Tickets for the Gala Dinner and Dance are $125 and available from Horstman Trading Co. Tickets for both public events are limited and expected to sell out quickly.

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