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Support the Games, leave a legacy

Mission will be the stage for the 2014 BC Winter Games. Thousands of visitors will have a significant impact on local businesses, said Games president Brian Antonson at the Chamber of Commerce luncheon earlier this month.

"In 2008, a study was done that showed Kimberly/Cranbrook enjoyed a $1.8 million impact due to the Games. Another study is being done with the Mission Games, and naturally we're hoping for an even better result for our area," he said.

More than 2,000 of volunteers are needed to make the Games a success, and there are numerous ways local business can help.

By becoming Friends of the Games and supporting events, you can help build the legacy that will be left behind.

"There are two elements to the legacy," explained Antonson.

One is financial and the other is the creation of a culture of volunteerism in the community.

"When savings are realized in the Games budget because of local business support, half of the savings are returned to Victoria to support future Games, and the other half stays in our community."

About $120,000 stayed in Vernon at the last Winter Games in 2012, according to Antonson. "Seventy-five per cent of those funds can go into sport-related commitments, and 25 per cent can go into arts and culture."

Past events have shown that once people experience volunteering, they will want to do it again, and with more than 2,000 helpers, there will be a lasting impact on Mission groups, associations, and the community as a whole, he said.

The next Games event is the torch lighting at the Leisure Centre Nov. 16. Festivities begin at noon.

The 2014 BC Winter Games takes place Feb. 20-23. For more information visit www.bcgames.org/Games/BCWinterGames.

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