LCBO customers and staff raise more than $8.2 million to help people, communities across Ontario

OTTAWA, Aug. 6, 2014 /CNW/ - Thanks to the generosity of its customers and employees, more than $8.2 million was raised by LCBO's Giving Back In Our Community program benefiting a variety of worthy causes across Ontario in 2013. This represents a 24 per cent increase over the previous year's fundraising tally, reflecting LCBO's commitment to making a positive difference to the people and communities it serves.

Of the $8.2 million total, $7.7 million was raised in LCBO stores through customer donations. LCBO's Eastern Region, which includes Ottawa, Peterborough, Durham and Kingston areas, contributed more than $1.48 million to the total.

A major contribution to the record fundraising was the more than $3.2 million raised for the 2013 United Way Centraide campaign through in-store donations, along with employee pledges and special events. LCBO is the largest single United Way contributor in the Ontario Public Service. The United Way helps people move from poverty to possibility, helps build strong communities and helps kids realize their full potential.

The annual December 2013 in-store prompt and donation box fundraising campaign raised more than $4 million, benefitting MADD Canada and four Ontario regional children's hospitals, including Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) Foundation (Ottawa), SickKids Foundation (Toronto), McMaster Children's Hospital Foundation (Hamilton), and Children's Health Foundation (London). The hospitals use the contributions to fund alcohol-related programs, research and harm-reduction programs. The funds raised for MADD Canada support its School Assembly Program, through which over half a million students at more than1,000 Ontario schools watch a powerful film at no cost to help prevent drinking and driving.

LCBO also plays host to a monthly in-store Provincial Donation Box Program, which raised $713,500 for more than 28 provincial and local charities last year. In LCBO's Eastern Region, local organizations included Alzheimer Society of Peterborough, Bancroft Food Bank, Ottawa Humane Society, Distress Centre Ottawa and Region, Gilda's Club Southeastern Ontario and Minden Flood Relief. Provincial charitable organizations supported included Ontario March of Dimes, Sunshine Foundation of Canada, Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind and Canadian Cancer Society.

Throughout the year, LCBO employees and suppliers come together to support organizations such as Camp Oochigeas, a summer camp for children with cancer, and Friends of We Care, which helps send physically disabled kids to camp.

LCBO's annual dividend transfer to the Ontario government, which totaled $1.74 billion in fiscal 2013-14 (excluding taxes), also supports a wide range of important government programs, services and priorities, including health care and education.

For more information about LCBO's social responsibility programs, including the Provincial Donation Box Program, visit: http://www.lcbo.com/content/lcbo/en/responsibility/community.html.

Quotes:

"We would like to thank the LCBO, its employees and especially its customers for donating a record $312,613 to CHEO," says CHEO Foundation President & CEO Kevin Keohane. "The population across the Eastern Ontario region continues to grow at a rapid pace and these donations will enable CHEO to purchase a new Neonatal Transport Isolette to transport premature babies from community hospitals to receive the life-saving care they need, in addition to supporting research to help children receive the best treatment available."

"On behalf of MADD Canada and the hundreds of thousands of Ontario students who will see the School Assembly Program at no cost, we thank the LCBO, its staff and its customers for their commitment to helping us educate young people and make our roads safer from impaired driving," says Angeliki Souranis, MADD Canada National President.

"The $8.2 million raised for worthy causes in 2013 is a testament to the generosity and community spirit of our customers and employees," says Mark Mason, LCBO Eastern Regional Director. "It shows that when we work together, we can make a meaningful difference in the lives of individuals and communities across the province."

Image with caption: "LCBO representatives celebrate the generosity of customers and staff who raised over $312,000 for CHEO Foundation as part of the 2013 Giving Back In Our Community campaign. These funds will purchase a new isolette (pictured) to transport premature babies to the hospital. (CNW Group/LCBO)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140806_C3014_PHOTO_EN_4671.jpg

Image with caption: "LCBO FUNDRAISING 2013 EASTERN REGION (CNW Group/LCBO)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140806_C3014_PHOTO_EN_4681.jpg

Audio with caption: "English Statement by Kevin Keohane, President & CEO of Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) Foundation: Thanks LCBO customers and staff for their generous support of CHEO Foundation.". Audio available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2014/08/06/20140806_C3014_AUDIO_EN_4673.mp3

SOURCE: LCBO

For further information: MEDIA CONTACT: Stephanie Petroff, LCBO Senior Communications Consultant, Tel: 416 864-6792; E-mail: stephanie.petroff@lcbo.com

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