TORONTO, Nov. 10, 2011 /CNW/ - On the eve of Remembrance Day, 2,100
attendees, including members of the Canadian Forces, corporate and
community leaders, and politicians gathered at the Allstream Centre for
True Patriot Love's 3rd annual Tribute Dinner, to recognize the sacrifices of members of the
Canadian Forces and their families, raising more than $2.6MM in the
The money raised at this latest Tribute Dinner presented by Bell Canada
will support military families through programs that provide
psychological counselling, retrofit homes and cars for soldiers
returning with injuries, rehabilitate wounded soldiers through sport,
and help families in the community cope with the everyday challenges
that come with service.
"While Canada's mission in Afghanistan is coming to a close, the
aftershock for military families can be everlasting. And the
day-to-day challenges that military families face - like being posted
far away from extended family - will be ever present. We need to
challenge ourselves to continue to support those who have been
supporting us, whether it's in a time of conflict or peace," said Shaun
Francis, Chair of the True Patriot Love Foundation.
"We are honoured to be here in Toronto and I am so thankful that
Canadians recognize the service and sacrifices made by their sons and
daughters in uniform. Words can hardly express the gratitude we feel
for all that the True Patriot Love Foundation has done for our families
and your military," said the Chief of Defence Staff, General Walt
Natynczyk. "The support of Canadians is making a difference for
military families, the wounded, ill and injured, and the families of
the fallen. These initiatives and the funding from tonight's gala
clearly demonstrate to our troops that Canada really cares."
"Bell knows that Canadian Forces members and their families are there
for all Canadians, and we are proud to work with the True Patriot Love
Foundation to help support their well being," said Mary Deacon, Chair
of the Bell Mental Health Initiative. "We are pleased that our
sponsorship of tonight's event will support the service men and women,
and their families, dealing with issues related to mental health."
Since its inception in 2009, the True Patriot Love Foundation has raised
more than $9.7 million through three Tribute Dinners in Toronto (2009,
2010, 2011), one in Fredericton (2010), one in Vancouver (2011) and one
in Halifax (2011).
The money raised has been donated to organizations that support military
Military Families Fund - To provide immediate support where government
is unable, including counselling, local supports for children with
special needs, and help for families to reunite in times of illness,
injury and death.
Military Family Resource Centres - To meet the needs of military
families and to give them opportunities to enhance their quality of
life, including childcare, children's programming and career
Soldier On - To optimize the functional independence of ill or injured
Canadian Forces personnel through programs that support their full and
active participation in physical fitness, health promotion and sport.
Two new initiatives were announced at the Toronto Dinner:
The True Patriot Love Mount Everest Climb in support of Soldier On: In
the Fall of 2012, a group of Canadian veterans injured in Afghanistan
will test their limits by conquering the highest point on earth as part
of their recovery.
The True Patriot Love Vimy Pilgrimage Award for Outstanding Youth
Leadership and Service: In August 2012, young people who have been
recognized for their outstanding community service and leadership will
be awarded a fully funded, week-long educational program in Vimy,
France, to study Canada's tremendous First World War effort.
For the third year in a row, Canadian artists transformed military
helmets into unique works of art. A symbol of protection and our hope
for the safe return of our soldiers, each helmet reflects each artist's
vision of Canada and honours the sacrifices made.
Notable attendees at the 2011 Toronto Tribute Dinner include General
Walter Natynczyk, General (Retired) Rick Hiller, the Honourable Julian Fantino, Associate Minister of National Defence ,
Mrs. Laureen Harper, Mr. David Jacobson, US Ambassador to Canada and
Dr. Andrew Pocock, UK High Commissioner to Canada, and George Cope,
President and CEO of BCE and Bell Canada.
Musical entertainment was provided by the Trews and Sass Jordan.
In August 2011, the True Patriot Love Foundation in partnership with the
Government of Ontario announced a plaque program to commemorate the
sacrifices made by Canadian soldiers and their families, which will be
placed at 26 bridges along the Highway of Heroes.
In the spring of 2012, True Patriot Love will be hosting its second
annual Invitational for Heroes golf tournament.
About the True Patriot Love Foundation:
The True Patriot Love Foundation (www.truepatriotlovefoundation.com) was founded in 2009 by a group of citizens who want to make a positive
contribution to the lives of Canadian military personnel and their
families - to serve those who serve on behalf of our nation. The
Foundation has grown through generous contributions from patriotic
Canadians, corporations and other organizations.
The Foundation supports funds and charities dedicated to supporting the
Canadian Military and their families. Through these charities and
funds, we are able to help families quickly reunite in times of
illness, injury and death, access rehabilitation and counselling
related to injury-induced life adjustments and support the needs of the
children of our soldiers, sailors, airmen and women and our fallen
comrades. Our funding complements and enhances, but does not replace,
existing public and non-public programs. EVEN HEROES NEED HEROES.
SOURCE True Patriot Love Foundation
For further information:
Director, True Patriot Love Foundation