Category Archives: News

AFOW Donation Provides Training to Local Nurses

From communications towers on local mountaintops to training days for nurses in emergency medicine, AFOW is making a mark in the community.

To learn more, see Pique’s coverage.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

Ten Years, $1M Strong

Pique published an informative article on July 5 highlighting the 10th anniversary of AFOW.

“The Whistler community would be roughly one million dollars poorer if not for its American friends.

Those friends care about the community so much they’ve been working to make it a better place for years.

That credo is at the heart of the American Friends of Whistler (AFOW), a U.S. non-profit organization that is celebrating its 10-year milestone this month.”

A founding board member, Bill Kunzweiler, commented:

“I don’t think anybody had that expectation,” he said, of raising $1 million in the last decade.

“Where I think it’s been most valuable is it exposed Americans to the inner workings of the community, some of the needs of the community, and it’s been a conduit for Americans to have a positive impact on the community.”