Eight community heroes in the running to be named Saskatchewan 2013 season Scotiabank Game Changer

This season's Scotiabank Game Changer will receive $25,000 towards their charity at the final game of the regular season and a trip to the 101st Grey Cup

REGINA, Oct. 24, 2013 /CNW/ - The countdown is on for the reveal of which of the eight Regional Scotiabank Game Changer finalists will be named the 2013 Roughriders Scotiabank Game Changer on November 2, 2013. The winner will receive a $25,000 donation for the charity or registered non-profit organization of his or her choice, a trip to the 101st Grey Cup Game in Regina plus recognition for their great work in the community.

The announcement will be made on field during halftime of the game between the Saskatchewan Roughriders against the Edmonton Eskimos. The winner will be selected as the top Game Changer from a group of eight finalists who had each been named a Home-Game Scotiabank Game Changer earlier in the season and who each received a $1,000 donation for their designated charity.

"Through the Scotiabank Game Changers program, we have all had the opportunity to know truly great people dedicated to helping others," said Bob Taylor, Scotiabank District Vice President, Saskatchewan South District. "These eight finalists are an inspiration to all of us. On behalf of Scotiabank, I want to congratulate all of the nominees and thank them for the work they do every day to give back to their communities."

The winner will be selected based on a combination of public voting and a judging panel. During the 2013 CFL regular season, Scotiabank has recognized a total of 24 Scotiabank Game Changers across sponsored CFL markets.

SCOTIABANK GAME CHANGERS STARTING LINE UP

To celebrate their achievements, the following eight Game Changer finalists will attend the final Saskatchewan Roughriders home game of the regular season on November 2, where the 2013 Season Game Changer will be announced during the game. Below is a list of the finalists and their designated charity or registered non-profit organization.

  • Wanda Kiefer - Parkinson Society Saskatchewan
    • After her husband's diagnosis of young onset Parkinson Disease, Wanda Kiefer and her family decided to join the fight against the disease as well as raising awareness in their community. Wanda established the Shake, Rattle and Roll Motorcycle Rally for Parkinson's Disease in 2011 to help in the fight against Parkinson's Disease. They have raised over $37,000 in the first two years of the event.
  • Luke Lawrence - Teddy Bears Anonymous  
    • Luke Lawrence formed Teddy Bears Anonymous in 2008 after losing his daughter to cancer. He donated teddy bears to Regina EMS and the reaction from the kids was so positive that hospitals starting asking Luke if they could also have bears for sick children. Through Luke's organization of fundraisers, over 35,000 teddy bears have been handed out. He has expanded his organization so that children will have something to comfort them when they walk into the ER or are heading into surgery.
  • Darren Whitehead - Special Olympics Saskatchewan
    • For 30 years, Darren Whitehead served as a leader, mentor and coach to athletes with an intellectual disability, helping the development and growth of the Special Olympics. He has coached several medial winning floor hockey teams at the provincial, western national and international levels. In 2013, he acted as an assistant coach to the gold medal winning Canadian floor hockey team at the World Games in Korea. As a referee, he has officiated 15 Provincials and was Referee in Chief for the three Canadian Special Olympic National games.
  • Michael Pelechaty - Saskatchewan Pediatric Auditory Rehabilitation Centre
    • Michael Pelechaty, who was born deaf, is a young advocate for the Saskatchewan Pediatric Auditory Centre (SPARC). He speaks out for the children that are born deaf, the challenges they face and the reality that there is always hope as well as work to gain awareness for SPARC. Over a few years, he collected a barrel full of pop can tabs to help children in need.
  • Regan Hinchcliffe - Regina and District Food Bank
    • Regan Hinchcliffe, who is 26 years old, is dedicated to helping his community in creative ways from helping put together a concert fundraiser for the Red Cross to busking to raise money for the Regina Food Bank. He is the owner of S Media, a company that connects local businesses to charities through social media. In 2011, he and his team launched an initiative to help raise money for the Regina Food Bank, partnering with nine businesses in Regina and asked them each to give $1 for every 'Like' that they received on their Facebook pages during the month of December to the food bank. This has turned into an annual fundraiser.
  • Amanda Crashley - KidSport Saskatchewan - Big River Branch
    • Amanda Crashley is a strong advocate of the KidSport program, which is a children's charity dedicated to assisting children of families facing financial obstacles to participate in community sport. She has also, through her role on the Minor Sports board, organized many local, district and provincial tournaments. She says she believes no child should be turned away because they can't afford registration or equipment.
  • Mike and Carla Ellert - Children's Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan
    • After losing their son following a surgery for a brain tumour, Mike and Carla Ellert were struck by the need for a facility that was specifically designed to help young patients and their families and became advocates and major fundraisers for the Children's Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan. They started their charity Skate4Smiles, a family-oriented skate-a-thon held in White City, SK. All proceeds from the skate-a-thon are donated to the Children's Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan. In 3 years, Mike & Carla have raised over $230,000 for the Children's Hospital Foundation through the Skate4Smiles, other fundraisers and donations.
  • Savelia Curniski - NASHI
    • Savelia Curniski has helped build a project in Ukraine to divert young people from human trafficking and support them in learning life skills so they can be a part of their community. From Canadian donations, a building in the Ukraine was bought to house 18-20 young people in a safe secure environment. Savelia has led the volunteers at NASHI, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars, building an educational and life skills model in Ukraine and helping spread awareness about human trafficking around the world.

For more information about the Scotiabank Game Changers program, go to www.ScotiabankGameChangers.com, visit us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter at @ScotiaCFL  #sbgamechangers.

About Scotiabank:

Scotiabank is committed to supporting the communities in which we live and work, both in Canada and abroad, through our global philanthropic program, Scotiabank Bright Future.  Recognized as a leader internationally and among Canadian corporations for our charitable donations and philanthropic activities, Scotiabank has provided on average approximately $47 million annually to community causes around the world over each of the last five years. Visit us at www.scotiabank.com.

SOURCE: Scotiabank - Sponsorships & Donations

For further information:

René Samulewitsch
High Road Communications
416-644-2287
rene.samulewitsch@highroad.com

Diana Hart
Scotiabank
416-866-7238
diana.hart@scotiabank.com


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