By Jackie Dickinson
Whistler2020 Health and Social Task Force Member
While many TV watchers may be able to wax nostalgic about the trouble young Alex Keaton used to find himself in on the seminal '80s series Family Ties, Micheal J. Fox's breakout character Alex had very little to do with reality.
In reality, family ties in Whistler are an intricate web involving a well-coordinated and seamlessly delivered support network involving family planning programming, community development and social service support. The players in this sometimes situation comedy, other times drama collaborate to keep our community healthy, happy and productive.
Over 10 years ago, professionals and local community members created a cohesive group to identify, discuss, and establish supports for alcohol and drug issues in Whistler, the Whistler Alcohol and Drug Committee (WAD). The WAD Committee has grown over these years with representation from Sea to Sky Community Services Society, Whistler Community Services, Whistler-Blackcomb, community professionals, parents, and interested citizens.
The focus of the committee is organizing and supporting events that educate children, youth, and families on alcohol and drug issues, as well as strengthen the family bond within a community context. The WAD Committee has been instrumental in the conception of sustainable community initiatives, such as information forums, family events, and the Parent Survival Guide. The committee worked in partnership with the Whistler Healthy Communities Committee to present an educational Methamphetamine Forum; assisted in the organization of a Parent Information Evening; and, have begun to host Whistler Family Activity Days with the generous support of local businesses.
This winter, the WAD Committee has organized a series of free or inexpensive Whistler Family Activity Days aimed to bring families together and promote healthy and active lifestyles. With less than average snowfalls, coupled with an unstable economy, Whistler families are looking for affordable, family-oriented events. These activities are an opportunity for parents and children to bond and interact with other families. This month, Whistler Blackcomb's Club Shred sponsored an evening at the Tube Park. On March 8, the CORE is offering free admission all day to classes and fitness for teens (13-18 years) while their parents workout, 50 per cent off the kids zone, 50 per cent off rental equipment included on any drop-in climbing, and 30 per cent off a guided session before noon. On April 9, Ziptrek Ecotours is offering discounts to local families on their Bear Tour (book directly with Ziptrek Ecotours and inform them you are participating in a Whistler Family Activity Day).
An exciting and new event planned this month is the Whistler Family Dinner Night, Feb. 24, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Whistler Secondary School. It is open to all Whistler families, with admission by donation. Don't forget to stay after you eat to enjoy fun family games. This event has been made possible with the generous support of the Tandoori Grill, Rosalind's Desserts, the Four Seasons, The Grocery Store, Nesters Market, Kaytering Whistler, Blenz, and the Hot Lunch Program at WSS. If you plan to attend, please RSVP to Sea to Sky Community Services at 1-877-892-2022 (ext. 404) or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
To get your family ties involved in Whsitler2020 or to volunteer for a Whistler2020 task force e-mail email@example.com