Author Archives: russmcduff

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.”

Inside Scoop: Thursday, December 27, 2012

Please join us for our Tenth Annual Inside Scoop on Thursday, December 27th at Millennium Place in Whistler.  Following a 5:00 p.m. reception, at 6:00 p.m. we will hear informative presentations from RMOW Chief Administrative Officer Mike Furey and Whistler Blackcomb Vice President Doug Forseth.

And Save-The-Date:  We are planning events for the Saturday of the President’s Day Weekend:  February 16, 2013…

Whistler Village Bike Park

A recent grant from AFOW helped to renovate the Whistler Village Bike Park adjacent to Lot 3.

“Our direction this year in working with the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation and American Friends of Whistler was to create a safe, progressive, learning skills environment for kids aged four to 12 years old,” said Grant Lamont of Alpine Bike Parks.

Full details in this article in Pique.

Congratulations Ken Melamed

A well deserved honor for former AFOW board member Ken Melamed:  recipient of a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, honored for his significant and lasting contribution to the community, including welcoming the world to the resort during the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Pique quotes Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden recognizing him as

a proud and gracious ambassador for the community during the Games, and every time a Canadian won a medal, Melamed would ring the bell outside municipal hall in recognition.

The Question notes that he:

was integral in ushering in the 2010 Winter Olympics and also spearheaded many environmental initiatives, including the creation of Whistler2020, a municipal document guiding the resort town’s long-term vision for sustainability.

Congratulations and thank you Ken for all you have contributed to Whistler!

New Program for Americans

Washington State residents have long had access to discounted skiing via the Edge Card.  Whichever your state, new this season is the W-B Gold Card.   Offer ends December 10…


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 13 event at Dusty’s go on sale September 1.  They can be purchased by calling the WB reservations line at 1-800-766-0449.  Last year tickets party sold out in just eight days…

WSAR celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.  More information in Pique and Question.