Cancellation of celebration leads to a gift the whole community will benefit from.
It is no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought much stress and disappointment to the lives of Whistler’s residents. Stress and anxiety are at very high levels across the community as is indicated by record numbers of residents seeking assistance from the Outreach Services department of Whistler Community Services. Jumping to the rescue to offer help is the 2020 graduating class of Whistler Secondary School, with a donation of $13,014 as part of our newly launched TOGETHER Outreach Appeal, running through June 15. This donation will go to support the many outreach programs offered by WCSS including assistance with navigating challenges with mental and emotional health, housing difficulties, relationship violence, Healthy Choices school program, as well as support and discussion groups for new parents, concussion patients, and our LGBTQ2s+ community.
Each year the graduating class of Whistler Secondary School puts a lot of time and effort into raising money to host their graduation celebration through fundraisers such as their annual plant sale in the spring. The grad class of 2020 took the brunt of the fallout from a ban on gatherings of more than 50 people which was put in place a mere 3 months before their big celebration was planned. This of course was a huge disappointment for the graduates, but they decided to not let their efforts of fundraising be lost. The group collectively decided to donate the money, originally destined for their party, to support the emotional and mental health of our community.
David Mehta, 2020 WSS Grad Valedictorian shared these thoughts, “The class of 2020 saw an overwhelming amount of support from the community over the last year and a half. We strongly believe in the work and support that the WCSS continues to provide for Whistler. We are so excited to be able to redirect these resources into the community and people that have been with us every step of the way.”
“With demand for support through Outreach Services at an all-time high, this donation couldn’t come at a better time. We have expanded out team of outreach workers, adapted programing to fit the needs of our clients, and adjusted how and where we meet clients to ensure their needs are met. The fact that this donation comes during National Mental Health Week makes it extra special” says WCSS Executive Director, Jackie Dickinson.