The Whistler community is showing their appreciation to an ailing local who has supported the community over the course of the 34 years he has lived here.
Bill Lamond, former owner of Wild Willies Ski Shop, was diagnosed with throat cancer about a month ago and is undergoing treatment. His close friends knew that this was going to be a tough time financially with both Lamond unable to work and his wife on a leave of absence, and that Lamond would never ask for help. They then saw it as an opportunity to help him.
Over the years, Lamond has offered ski equipment to Whistler families and local skiers that have moved on to compete professionally, and supported various causes. He even bailed one of his employees out of a U.S. jail. When speaking to long-time friend Larry Falcon about the incident, Lamond said that he had no choice and that the employee could have waited in the States for months to get a trial.
“It gives a snapshot of how he views life,” said Falcon. “He’ll literally give you the shirt off his back.”
Falcon, who has known Lamond for over 30 years, says his friend has been his usual positive self throughout the entire experience. He has lost a lot of weight and can’t speak or taste anything, but manages to make jokes about it. Lamond even went out for a short cross-country ski last weekend.
“He has hope that he will beat this,” Falcon said.
Lamond’s friends have organized an appreciation day on Saturday (March 16) to raise $15,000 to help him and his wife Lucie Vermette.
Creekbread offered their space for the occasion and is donating money for each pizza attendees eat.
Local businesses are donating prizes for the raffle and silent auction including a fishing trip, Vancouver Canuck tickets and gift certificates for stores across town.
Donations can be made through the Donate Bill Lamond Facebook page.