BMO Boo-la-thon Raises $566,000 in Support of Kids Help Phone



    
    -   The 2008 event raised enough funds to support more than three weeks
        of Kids Help Phone's 24-hour Counselling Centre operations.
    -   BMO employees, families and friends participated in 32 communities
        across Canada.
    -   New communities in 2008 included: Kamloops, Prince George, Edmonton,
        Regina, Saskatoon, Yorkton, Winnipeg, Cornwall, Sudbury, York Region,
        Saint John, Halifax and St. John's.
    

    TORONTO, Oct. 27 /CNW/ - It was a monstrously fun weekend with BMO
Financial Group employees, families and friends raising $566,000 at the BMO
Boo-la-thon in support of Kids Help Phone. The Halloween-themed bowling
fundraiser took place in 32 communities across the country on October 25 and
26, 2008 and was a spook-tacular success.
    "This was a very significant year for the BMO Boo-la-thon in support of
Kids Help Phone because for the first time we had events taking place across
Canada," said Tom McAllister, President and CEO, Kids Help Phone. "Our
gratitude goes out to BMO employees and participants of all ages who collected
pledges and enjoyed a fun-filled day of bowling with friends and family. This
year's event helped us to raise an amount equal to the cost of more than three
weeks of 24-hour Counselling Centre operations."
    Started as a single-location event by BMO Financial Group employees in
1991, the BMO Boo-la-thon has raised funds for 18 years enabling Kids Help
Phone's professional counsellors to continue being there for kids across
Canada 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
    "BMO employees were out in full force this year, across the country,
showing their support and raising much needed funds for Kids Help Phone," said
Sandra Hanington, Executive Vice President Customer Strategies and Marketing,
BMO Bank of Montreal and Kids Help Phone board member. "We are thrilled to be
able to support such an important organization that impacts youth from
coast-to-coast."
    Sponsors for the BMO Boo-la-thon in support of Kids Help Phone included
BMO Financial Group, AIR MILES Reward Program, The Hilton Family of Hotels,
WestJet, Microsoft Zune and BOSS Print + Creative.

    Kids Help Phone

    Kids Help Phone is Canada's only free, 24-hour, bilingual and anonymous
phone and online counselling, referral and information service for children
and youth. Every day, professional counsellors provide immediate, confidential
and caring support to young people living in urban, rural and remote locations
right across the country. Children and youth contact Kids Help Phone about
every issue imaginable - from school, dating and family problems, to
bullying/cyber-bullying, addiction and abuse. In 2007, Kids Help Phone touched
the lives of children and youth in need from almost 3,000 Canadian communities
more than two million times through its phone and online services.
    Established in 1989, Kids Help Phone is recognized internationally as a
leader in the delivery of phone and online counselling to kids. A charitable
organization, Kids Help Phone employs more than 100 highly skilled counsellors
and benefits from the support of more than 10,000 fundraising volunteers in
communities from coast to coast, and the commitment of a growing number of
leading Canadian companies and their employees.

    About BMO Financial Group

    As a founding sponsor of Kids Help Phone, BMO has been supporting the
critical efforts of this organization since its inception in 1989 and, through
BMO's extensive network of employee volunteers, provides leadership support
for chapters of Kids Help Phone from coast to coast. In 2007 alone, notable
contributions to Kids Help Phone from BMO Financial Group and its employees
included $412,000 raised from the BMO Presidents' Cup Golf event, $200,000
annual sponsorship for Kids Help Phone's Student Ambassador Program and
$460,000 raised during the employee-driven BMO Boo-la-thon in support of Kids
Help Phone and several other local fundraising initiatives. Kids Help Phone
launched their first ever capital campaign in 2007 to raise $7.5 million to
support their infrastructure of which BMO Financial Group gave the Visionary
gift of $2 million.

    CNW Group is proud to be the official newswire provider for Kids Help
Phone.





For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Virginia Middleton, Kids Help
Phone, (416) 586-5437 x 8345, virginia.middleton@kidshelpphone.ca; Jodi Salem,
BMO Bank of Montreal, (416) 867-3996, jodi.salem@bmo.com


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