TORONTO, Nov. 5, 2013 /CNW/ - 200 newcomers, youth and long-time
residents who have been trained as Volunteer Ambassadors in 2013
through the Playing for Keeps (P4K) initiative will be recognized today by the Toronto Community
Foundation, George Brown College and Toronto Pearson in a special
celebration and graduation event at City Hall. By building the capacity
of individuals from Regent Park to Rexdale and Downsview to
Kingston-Galloway, P4K has created a new, skilled volunteer base for
community organizations to build vital communities. The event starts at
"Today's event will be a wonderful celebration of volunteerism and the
social connections that are possible through community involvement.
With our partners, we have been able to channel the energy of play and
fun to create opportunities for residents to become more active, better
connected, and leaders in their communities," said Rahul K. Bhardwaj,
President & CEO, Toronto Community Foundation.
P4K was piloted through the 2012 Ontario Summer Games and named a key
legacy of the Games. It is now a featured project of IGNITE, TO2015's
community partnership program designed to promote sports, physical
activity, healthy living, recreation and arts and culture leading up to
the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games.
At its core, P4K is about people and neighbourhoods. This partnership of
over 30 organizations is building the leadership potential of residents
- newcomers, youth and long-term residents - and offers them special
training facilitated by George Brown College in leadership, civic
engagement, event organizing, citizenship and communications. This
training equips them to be leaders in their communities by organizing
"P4K Neighbourhood Games," locally organized, playful and joyful
activities that bring people together across generations to share an
experience, have fun and play. These Games build more inclusive,
welcoming and active neighbourhoods and provide the opportunity for P4K
Volunteer Ambassadors to put their civic engagement training into
"George Brown College is delighted with our deepening partnership with
P4K," said Brenda Pipitone, Dean of Academic Services and Student
Affairs, George Brown College. "Together we're empowering individuals
by equipping them with the confidence and skills they need to make a
real impact on the lives of Torontonians."
In the spirit of fun and healthy activity, today's celebration will kick
off with a Neighbourhood Game called Peteka, hosted by the Toronto
Sports Council. Peteka is a Brazilian game that mixes the skills of
badminton and volleyball. The event will also feature stories of
inspiration from the lead partners and P4K Volunteer Ambassadors.
To close the event, attendees will be invited to participate in the
Latin-inspired dancercise routine popularly known as Zumba.
"Toronto Pearson is Canada's front door and a reflection of the
community we serve. We take pride in that. With 35 million passengers
and 40,000 employees, we also know we have a unique opportunity - and
responsibility - to contribute to our region's vitality and strength,"
said Toby Lennox, Vice President, Strategy Development and Stakeholder
Relations, Toronto Pearson. "That's why we're proud to be the Lead
Community Partner of Playing for Keeps. At the airport, we're all
about connections. The same is true with P4K: we're fostering
connections that are having a positive impact on our region."
This is the second year for the Playing for Keeps/George Brown College
Community Leadership Training and over 350 P4K Volunteer Ambassadors
have participated in the program to date.
About Playing for Keeps
Playing for Keeps is an initiative that is developing healthier, more active, and better
connected communities through play starting with the 2012 Ontario
Summer Games towards the 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games and beyond! Why
play? Play gets us outside, connected with others, helps to build
trust, and bonds us through laughter, team spirit and shared
experience. Over 30 organizations and 600 people from Ajax, Toronto,
and Hamilton helped to develop this social legacy initiative. For more
information, please visit www.playingforkeeps.ca
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SOURCE: Toronto Community Foundation
For further information:
Simone Dalton, Manager, Media Relations & Communications
Toronto Community Foundation
O: 416-921-2035 ext. 218