Media Advisory - Annual Start2Finish Backpacking Event Prepares Students for the Year Ahead

Students and volunteers pack over 9,000 backpacks for at-risk students across Canada

TORONTO, Aug. 17, 2012 /CNW/ - Each year Start2Finish and Grand & Toy provide vital school supplies to thousands of at-risk youth throughout Canada. The Start2Finish Backpack Program, in cooperation with school boards and local administrators, identifies children in need and equips them with the tools to help even the playing field and prepare them for a successful school year.

Grand & Toy, as well as volunteers and corporate sponsors, help Start2Finish make this initiative possible by donating time, supplies and in-kind services.

Experiencing first-hand the positive effects of this initiative, Start2Finish scholarship recipients and program graduates will volunteer at this year's packing event. A number of these students will be on hand at the various packing locations to discuss how Start2Finish made a positive impact in their lives.

The packing events will be taking place in the following locations across Canada, over the next two weeks:

Toronto
Date: Tuesday, August 21
Time:
Media reception 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Press conference 12:00 p.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Location: Grand & Toy, 33 Green Belt Drive, Toronto, ON, M3C 1M1
On-site interviews:



Brian Warren, Executive Director and Founder, Start2Finish and two-time Grey Cup champion
Marla Allan, Vice President of Human Resources, Grand & Toy
Staff Sgt. Kimberly Greenwood, Staff Superintendent of the Toronto Police
Scholarship recipients, Start2Finish Pathway of Hope
Principals and teachers of the Toronto District School Board
Hamilton
Date: Wednesday, August 22
Time: 
11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Press conference 12:00 p.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Location: Jackson Square Mall Food Court, 2 King Street West Hamilton, ON, L8P 1A1
On-site interviews:




Brian Warren, Executive Director and Founder, Start2Finish and two-time Grey Cup champion
Carole Saldat, Store Manager, Grand & Toy
Sgt. Kerry Duench of the Hamilton Police
John Malloy, Director of Education for the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board
Patricia Amos, Director of Education for the Hamilton Wentworth Catholic District School Board
Sharon Stephanian, Superintendent of Leadership and Learning,
Hamilton Wentworth District School Board
Scholarship recipients, Start2Finish Pathway of Hope
Halifax (Dartmouth)
Date:    Thursday, August 23
Time: 
12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Press conference 12:30 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Location:  Grand & Toy, 15 Garland Ave Unit 1, Dartmouth, NS, B3B 0A6
On-site interviews:
Brian Warren, Executive Director and Founder, Start2Finish and two-time Grey Cup champion
Starla Groombridge and Darryl Langdon, Grand & Toy representatives
Calgary
Date: Tuesday, August 28
Time:
11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Press conference 12:00 p.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Location: 
Varsity Bible Church, 4807 Valiant Drive NW, Calgary, AB 
T3A 0Y3
On-site interviews:

Brian Warren, Executive Director and Founder, Start2Finish and
two-time Grey Cup champion
Brent Tremblay, District Sales Manager, Grand & Toy
Vicki McLaughlin, Specialist, Corporate Partnerships, Calgary Board of Education
NOTE: Photo opportunities at each event include VIP attendees and spokespeople, past scholarship recipients, and volunteers preparing backpacks.



About Start2Finish
Start2Finish is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to break the cycle of child poverty by providing ongoing educational support to Canada's at risk children through an innovative fitness and literacy model. Start2Finish is supported by donors and volunteers, and is sponsored by Wonder+, Grand & Toy, Scotiabank, George Weston Limited and TD Canada Trust. For more information on Start2Finish programs or volunteering please visit: www.start2finishonline.org.

About Grand & Toy
With a heritage that dates back to 1882, today's Grand & Toy is committed to offering sustainable solutions to Canadian business in the areas of interiors, technology, and imaging in addition to office and facility supplies. We operate one of the country's largest distribution networks serving clients coast-to-coast. Grand & Toy also demonstrates a firm commitment to corporate social responsibility through a comprehensive sustainability strategy that's manifested through numerous internal and external environmental and social outreach programs. For more information, visit grandandtoy.com.

SOURCE: Start2Finish

For further information:

Michelle Wray
Director of Volunteer and Community Relations, Start2Finish
michelle.wray@start2finishonline.org
1-888-320-8844 ext. 206

Jill Yetman
Senior Consultant, Environics Communications, Inc. (for Grand & Toy)
jyetman@environicspr.com
416-920-9000 ext. 2722