Author Archives: russmcduff

Ski and Snowboard Race to Benefit Whistler Adaptive Sports Program

American Friends of Whistler assists an American ski club, The Downhill Derelicts, in their fundraising to benefit Whistler Adaptive Sports Program.  Last year they presented a $CAD 20,000 gift to WASP and are on track to raise the bar this year.  On Tuesday, March 13, they are sponsoring a race at the Blackcomb GMC Race Center.

Inside Scoop 2014

Our 12th annual Inside Scoop will be held Monday, December 29th at Millennium Place. Reception at 5:00 followed at 6:00 by an insider’s presentation from WB Senior Vice President Stuart Rempel and perspectives on the impact of AFOW on the Whistler community from grantee organizations. RSVP here.

Annual Report 2013

Our Annual Report for 2013 is now available:  2013 AFOW Annual Report.  Some highlights:

  • We funded $64,000 of new grants to Canadian Avalanche Rescue Dog Association, Whistler Public Library, Whistler Community Services Society, Sea to Sky Community Services, Howe Sound Women’s Center, and Whistler Sailing Association.
  • We thanked Past President Rod Rohda for his many years of superb leadership and welcomed a new executive team:  President Gary Raymond and Executive Director Mary Forseth.
  • We continue to operate using volunteer effort, keeping our administrative expenses below 2%.
  • We hosted our 11th annual “Inside Scoop” on December 27 hearing informative presentations from Mayor (and Board Member) Nancy Wilhelm-Morden and Whistler Senior Vice President Stuart Rempel.

Inside Scoop 2013

Our 11th annual Inside Scoop will be held Friday, December 27th. Reception at 5:00 followed by an insider’s perspective on the most important issues facing the village and the mountain at 6:00 from Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden and W-B Senior Vice President Stuart Rempel.  RSVP here.

Whistler Search and Rescue “Wine’d Up”

American Friends of Whistler has been a strong supporter of Whistler Search and Rescue.  One of the hot tickets in town is for the organization’s biggest annual fund raising event, Wine’d Up.

Tickets for this October 19 event at Dusty’s have gone on sale.  They can be purchased by calling the WB reservations line at 1-800-766-0449.  They sell out quickly…

More information in Pique and on the W-B web.

Honoring Rod Rohda

At our March 2013 board meeting AFOW underwent a transition  as Rod Rohda stepped down as President after seven years of extraordinary leadership.  Rod said at the time:

“As I look back over my time with the American Friends of Whistler and I think about virtually every public organization in town we’ve been able to lend our support to…that’s something that really means something to me.  It’s a terrific feeling to know that we’ve been involved with that many different organizations in the community.”

Following on the coverage in Pique and Question, Alix Nicoll wrote to the papers the following week:

I think that I can say that I speak on behalf of a great many of the Whistler/Sea to Sky not-for-profits in thanking Rod Rohda for his dedicated leadership of the American Friends of Whistler (AFOW) over the last seven years.

Our board feels likewise and at the end of our board meeting this past Saturday we surprised Rod by making a $15,000 grant to the Whistler Public Library, as announced today by RMOW.

The AFOW board honored Rod Rohda with a $15,000 grant to the Whistler Public Library

Rod Rohda at the “unveiling”

Thanks Rod for all your past and future passion for making Whistler a terrific community.

Additional coverage:  Pique, Question

Annual Report 2012

Our Annual Report for 2012 is now available.  Some highlights:

  • We celebrated our tenth anniversary and surpassed the $1 million mark in total contributions received.
  • We funded ~$103,000 of new grants to Whistler Community Services Society, Whistler Sailing Association, Get Bear Smart Society, Sea to Sky Trail Society, Whistler Off Road Cycling Association and the Whistler Walk Safe Program.
  • We held our 10th Inside Scoop, an opportunity to socialize and receive an overview of important developments in the municipality and on the mountain.

Whistler Film Festival Society Spring Fling


On Saturday, March 30 Whistler Film Festival Society is holding Spring Fling – A Taste of Whistler to support its Future in Focus capital campaign.  This après extravaganza runs from 4:00-6:30 at the Hilton Whistler Resort.  More information and tickets at on the WFFS web.

AFOW has pledged $50,000, pending a successful campaign.

Our First Decade

A great article in today’s Question about our impact.

“You’d be hard-pressed to find another group of foreigners that contributes as much to a Canadian community as the American Friends of Whistler (AFOW), a non-profit that passed the $1 million mark in total donations to deserving local organizations”

Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden, a board member, adds

“It’s really a remarkable organization.  A million dollars is a significant contribution to the well-being of our community.”

TELUS Winter Classic, January 25-26, 2013

Registration/Tickets have just gone on sale for the TELUS Winter Classic, a major fund raiser for our friends the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation.   “This action-packed weekend features fun-filled ski events, food & wine galore, our infamous live and silent auction and fabulous live entertainment.”