Home Hardware Dealer Delivers First Pitch at Blue Jays Fan Appreciation Day

Donation presented to Special Olympics Canada on Rogers Centre infield

TORONTO, Sept. 18, 2011 /CNW/ - On Sunday September 18, 2011, John Locke, Dealer-Owner of Orillia Home Hardware Building Centre, marked Home Hardware Blue Jays Fan Appreciation Day by presenting a $250,000 cheque to Austin Featherstone, a Special Olympics Canada Athlete and Anthony Miceli, Vice-President Business Development and Marketing from Special Olympics Canada during an infield ceremony at the Rogers Centre.

Following the cheque presentation John, Anthony and Austin, who is still fresh from bringing home a gold medal in the 400 m race at the World Games in Athens this summer, threw the ceremonial first pitch to get the Blue Jays game versus the New York Yankees underway.

"On behalf of more than 1,080 Home Hardware Dealers across Canada, I am honoured to be able to present this donation to Special Olympics Canada," said John Locke, Dealer-Owner of Orillia Home Hardware Building Centre. "As a Home Dealer-Owner, I strongly believe in Home Hardware's long standing relationship with Special Olympics. Home Dealers are committed to supporting the communities where we live and operate and our relationship with Special Olympics is just one part of this commitment."

In addition to the on-field pre-game cheque presentation and ceremonial first pitch, several other elements are included in fan appreciation day. The first 10,000 fans to arrive at the Rogers Centre received a t-shirt presented by Home Hardware and nine lucky fans won the shirts off the backs of the Blue Jays players.

"As the official home improvement partner of the Toronto Blue Jays, Home Hardware Dealers value the tradition and culture of sport in communities across Canada," said Paul Straus, CEO of Home Hardware Stores Limited. "That is also why we choose to support Special Olympics Canada's efforts to enrich the lives of Canadians with an intellectual disability through sport."

"Home Hardware and its Dealers across Canada believe that sport has an incredible power to create positive change in the lives of individuals with an intellectual disability like Austin," said Anthony Miceli, Vice-President of Business Development and Marketing. "We thank Home Hardware for the role it has played in the growth of our movement since partnering with Special Olympics in 1999. We remain very grateful for this support."

In addition to Special Olympics Canada, Home Hardware Stores Limited is a proud national sponsor of SickKids Foundation and Tree Canada.

About Special Olympics Canada
Special Olympics Canada is dedicated to enriching the lives of Canadians with an intellectual disability through sport.  It is a national not-for-profit grassroots organization that provides sport training and competition opportunities for over 31,000 athletes of all ages and abilities.  More than 10,000 certified volunteer coaches are currently involved with Special Olympics programs every day in virtually every community nationwide.  Special Olympics Canada National Games are held every two years, alternating between Summer and Winter Games with World Games being held in the year following National Games. Special Olympics Canada's programs are supported by corporate sponsorship, fundraising activities, government funding, individual donors and the involvement of volunteers in communities across the country.

About Home Hardware Stores Limited
100% Canadian owned and operated, Home Hardware Stores Limited has a presence in every Canadian province and territory and is the country's largest independent, Dealer-owned hardware, lumber, building materials and furniture cooperative. Founded on January 1, 1964 by 122 independent hardware Dealers, the cooperative now includes more than 1,080 stores, under the Home Hardware, Home Building Centre, Home Hardware Building Centre and Home Furniture banners, with annual collective retail sales of more than $5 billion. Home Hardware's independent Dealer-Owners, recognized by the North American Retail Hardware Association as Canada's best-trained Dealer group, have access to 100,000 quality brand name and private label products, a world-class distribution system and draw upon the power of Home Hardware's network to provide their local communities with top quality products and services at competitive prices.

Image with caption: "John Locke, (Left) Dealer-Owner of Orillia Home Hardware Building Centre, marked Home Hardware Blue Jays Fan Appreciation Day by presenting a $250,000 cheque to Austin Featherstone, (Middle) a Special Olympics Canada Athlete and Anthony Miceli, (Right) Vice-President Business Development and Marketing from Special Olympics Canada during an infield ceremony at the Rogers Centre. (CNW Group/Home Hardware Stores Limited)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20110918_C4385_PHOTO_EN_3411.jpg

SOURCE Home Hardware Stores Limited

For further information:

For more information, please contact Lindsey Dietrich, Public Relations Coordinator, Home Hardware Stores Limited at 519-664-2252 ext. 6676 or lindsey.dietrich@homehardware.ca.

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