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Pink Whistle initiative raises record-breaking total

‘A Call to Foul on Cancer’ raised more than $62,000 for BC Cancer Foundation
Tsawwassen Rotary Club president Yvonne Anderson is pictured with basketball officials Mike Craig, Sean March and Karn Dhillon at the inaugural Hoop-A-Thon at Southpointe Academy. Photo courtesy Karn Dhillon

To ‘Call to Foul on Cancer’ and the Pink Whistle initiative has raised a record $62,000 locally for the BC Cancer Foundation.

What started out 15 years ago with the use of a pink whistle by Ladner resident and basketball official Karn Dhillon, has grown into a community-wide effort from referees, players, fans coaches and other community supporters during the high school basketball season.

With this year’s total, more than $275,000 has been raised in 15 years.

Highlights of this year’s campaign, which started in January, included a partnership with Four Winds Brewing/Parkside Brewery and their limited release of Pink Whistle Pale Ale with partial proceeds going directly to the BC Cancer Foundation. Patrons were invited to ‘Come Wet their Whistle’ and ‘Call a Foul On Cancer.’

During the weekend of May 4, The Rotary Club of Tsawwassen invited basketball players, local dignitaries, and the Pink Whistle basketball referees to the inaugural Hoop-A-Thon at Southpointe Academy, which provided additional publicity and exposure to the campaign.

“For the past 10 years or so, every year we just keep going up and up. The momentum has been fantastic,” said Dhillon. “The entire basketball sporting community, not just locally here in Delta, has embraced this.”

Dhillon said everyone, has a story to tell when it comes to cancer, so it’s a cause that touches everyone.

“When someone sees that very first pink whistle, maybe it doesn’t resonate, but after they have been touched by a cancer story or situation, suddenly the light turns on and they realize what we have been doing,” he said. “I can’t thank people enough for all their support.”