The last week in January is an annual event when skiers and snowboarders gather in Whistler to celebrate Winter Pride. 2018 marks 26th year of the Whistler Pride & Ski Festival, which has grown to become a global event regarded by many as one of the best in the world.
Whistler’s charming atmosphere and extensive amenities combine with world-class skiing to make for an experience few will ever forget and for which many keep coming back.
Ski conditions this year were exceptional – probably the best powder skiing I and many others have ever experienced in Whistler. The powder just kept dumping throughout the week, right up to the very end.
On Saturday, January 27th, after another epic day on the slopes, many guests of the resort came together to rejoice at the fortune of being so blessed by the snow gods. Sashay, a benefit for Foundation of Hope, was held for the second year in CABN, a venue of the Aava Hotel.
This event is a seasonal complement to STRUT, FOH’s flagship fundraiser. It is organized by Dean Nelson and Sunil Sinha, co-owners of Gay Whistler and we are so grateful to have them host this fundraiser on our behalf. Volunteer staff at Gay Whistler, led by Karen McCormick, assisted us FOH Directors, including Laurel, Andrew, and myself, along with volunteer assistance from Sean Gregor, the event photographer, and Dana MacLeod.
All revenue from Sashay’s ticket sales comes to FOH and goes directly to our fund. Our silent auction additionally brought in over $5,500, including proceeds from the 50/50 draw and numerous gifts-in-kind from local businesses. We are tremendously grateful to John Fluevog Shoes, Little Sister’s Book & Art Emporium, Hawksworth Restaurant & Cocktail Bar, Scandinave Spa Whistler, MASC Skincare, and Top Drawers for these gifts.
Partnership with TD Bank in its Aeroplan Cause Marketing Program allowed us to use miles to auction off great merchandaise, as well as the grand prize: a trip for two to London during Pride, with airfare and accommodations over seven days included.
Year two of Sashay was a much-needed success for FOH. Already in January 2018 alone, we have received $58,250 in grant applications for LGBT+ Refugee sponsorhsip and Newcomer support projects across Canada. This significantly exceeds the current capacity of our fund, so these fundraisers are essential to allow FOH to continue to support the network of Canadian charities doing the important work on the ground.