Two young people – including one from the Sunshine Coast – will participate in the Outward Bound Wilderness Program once again this year, thanks to the Neil Falkner Outward Bound Legacy.
Falkner was a popular Whistler ski patroller who lost his life 14 years ago this April in the Canadian Rockies. One year later his family established the legacy in his memory.
Neil’s mother, Judy Lynne, said Neil spent his childhood bouncing between his divorced parents. “By the time he was 16, he was a troubled youth not always making the best choices in life,” she said.
With financial help from her friends, Lynne sent Neil on a 21-day Outward Bound Wilderness Program in the mountains of B.C.
“He wasn’t so sure he wanted to go. It changed his life and eventually took him to Whistler where he became a ski patroller and avalanche safety expert. Being paid to ski was a dream come true,” Lynne said.
Lynne now lives on the Sunshine Coast. For 13 years she has been fundraising to provide Outward Bound wilderness opportunities for young people like Neil. Neil’s Outward Bound legacy is committed to gender parity, so an equal number of girls and boys are chosen for this annual gift. A total of 24 have benefitted since 2003 and two more will be challenged again this summer.
Fundraising is done via an online silent auction, which is now open for bids and donations. The auction will close at 10 p.m. on Sunday, April 10. Sending two youths annually costs between $8,500 and $10,000, depending on whether the programs are 17 days or three weeks in duration.
View the auction at www.32auctions.com/NeilFalknerLegacy2016. Donations can also be sent directly to Outward Bound Canada, 550 Bayview Ave., Building 1, Suite 201, Toronto, Ont., M4W 3X8. Identify Neil Falkner Fund on the face of the cheque. To find out more about Neil and his legacy, see neilfalknerlegacy.ca