The Whistler Blackcomb Foundation has received a donation of 50 additional Founders Passes from Vail Resorts EpicPromise, doubling the number of passes in the program to 100 in total.
The Founders Pass is a highly-coveted, fully transferable pass which offers a number of special perks, including lift line priority on both Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains. It has sold out every year since its introduction in 1998 and some individuals have been on the waitlist for over a decade. Importantly, funds generated from the sale of these passes have enabled the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation to donate one major grant annually to an everlasting capital project within the local community. With the addition of these 50 passes to the program, it will now become the primary fundraising vehicle for the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation and will raise one million dollars annually for Sea to Sky community organizations.
The additional Founders Passes will create a year-over-year impact, with the intent of driving innovative solutions to help solve community challenges. The recipient of the first of these larger-scale grants has been decided, and the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation is proud to share the Whistler 360 Health Collaborative Society will receive $500,000 in support of improving accessibility of community healthcare services and support.
“The impact of the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation is substantial, and I am proud and honoured to be part of this important announcement in partnership through Vail Resorts EpicPromise” said Geoff Buchheister, Whistler Blackcomb VP & COO and President, Whistler Blackcomb Foundation. “We are committed to making a difference in the Sea to Sky community and are thrilled about the expansion of the Founders Pass program and both the experience it will provide and the impact it will ultimately make.”
Whistler 360 aims to create a team-based, professionally managed, community-governed model of excellence where health care professionals provide patient-focused longitudinal care. The key components of the model are designed to address the issues that deter doctors from choosing full-service family practice in ways that can improve the health of our community. In providing half-a-million dollars in funding, Whistler 360 will be better enabled to bridge an important gap in preventative healthcare and reducing barriers to accessing care
“We are ecstatic this year to announce support for Whistler 360 with the incremental dollars raised through the sale of the additional 50 Founders Passes. Our community is not immune to the crisis felt throughout the healthcare system in this Province and we are honoured to be able to support this great organization,” said Mei Madden, Executive Director of the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation. “We are grateful for the continued support of Whistler Blackcomb and Vail Resorts, and look forward to the continued impact the Foundation will make in changing the lives of local residents and driving our community forward.”
The work of Whistler 360 began in 2019 in response to a shortage of practitioners in family practice in Whistler, and as many as 50% of residents are without a family doctor, and those who do face long wait times for care. The shortage is also impacting urgent care in Whistler, where doctors supporting critical care needs are seeing hundreds of patients without urgent needs due to a lack of family practice physicians.
“We are grateful for the support of the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation and Whistler Blackcomb and Vail Resorts EpicPromise – this donation will help Whistler 360 address capacity in primary care services in our community,” said Dr. Karin Kausky, Vice-Chair of Whistler 360 Health Collaborative Society. “It is our goal to be a model of excellence in the delivery of primary care, and this grant will help with recruitment and retention of providers and staff. Since Whistler 360 is community-led and governed, it is one of our goals to have a deep understanding of our community and its primary-care needs—including social determinants of health—and be able to respond to changing needs.”
The Whistler Blackcomb Foundation is committed to helping organizations that benefit residents of the Sea to Sky Corridor. Over the years, it has reviewed large scale opportunities to award funds raised through the Founders Pass program; prior recipients of donation funds include the Whistler Health Care Foundation, Squamish Helping Hands Society, Sea to Sky Hospice Society and many other shared community spaces and facilities like the Pemberton Soccer field, Dave Murray National Training Centre and the Whistler Skate Park
Help the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation continue to support our local communities by participating in the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation’s winter fundraiser, the TELUS Winter Classic being held March 3-4, 2023. More details are available at www.whistlerblackcombfoundation.com.