The ski patrollers from Whistler Blackcomb are holding their annual Red and White Party this year to help a fellow patroller and his family.
Just over a year ago, two-year-old Theo Lazaridis was diagnosed with leukemia. After six months of chemotherapy in the Children’s Hospital young Theo was in remission and released to enjoy the summer with his parents Laura and Tasso Lazaridis and older sister Eden.
Now the leukemia has come out of remission and the family is again managing with another six month round of chemotherapy and the struggles of caring for a sick child while still making ends meet.
While the family currently lives in Squamish, they have been residents of Whistler and have many friends throughout the corridor and Tasso Lazaridis has been a ski patrol member for over a decade.
It was Lazaridis that ski patroller Brian Cameron was thinking of when he scheduled this year’s Red and White Party at the GLC next Thursday (March 7).
The annual celebration has provided the patrollers with an opportunity to support the family through this tough time.
“I decided that instead of raising money for us, I will raise money for him and make it as big as possible,” Cameron said.
Laura is already staying with Theo full time in Vancouver and in early March Lazaridis will join them, as the young boy will receive an umbilical cord transplant and needs all the love and support of his family.
Cameron said while we have amazing health care in Canada, the added financial strain a family experiences when they are caring for a sick child can be overwhelming.
He said holding the annual celebration to help the family during this time of need has spurred on community support for the fundraiser as well.
“We help people all the time, but this is unreal generosity,” Cameron said.
The Whiskey Chiefs, a six piece instrumental funk band from Vancouver, will be performing at the GLC for the fundraiser. There are many prizes up for either a live auction or raffle draw, including heli-skiing, a season pass for WB next year and snowmobile tours, to name a few.
“At the end of the day the reason we are doing it is we want to stay positive, raise money for a good cause and have fun,” Cameron said.
Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at Blackcomb Dispatch, the GLC or at the door of the event next Thursday. The party starts at 7 p.m. and Whistler Brewery has donated a keg, so the first beer is included with admission.
For more information on efforts to support the Lazaridis family go to the Theo’s Basecamp Facebook page.