BMO Boo-la-thon Raises $570,000 in Support of Kids Help Phone

TORONTO, Oct. 26 /CNW/ - It was a monstrously fun weekend with BMO Financial Group employees, families and friends raising $570,000 at the BMO Boo-la-thon in support of Kids Help Phone. The Halloween-themed bowling fundraiser took place in over 45 communities across the country on October 24 and 25, 2009 and was a spook-tacular success.

"As a charity, events like the BMO Boo-la-thon in support of Kids Help Phone are critical in ensuring we have the funds available to provide our counselling services to every child in Canada no matter where they're located," said Sharon Wood, President and CEO, Kids Help Phone. "We appreciate the hard work and dedication of BMO employees and participants of all ages who collected pledges and enjoyed a fun-filled day of bowling with friends and family."

Started five years ago in a handful of communities, by enthusiastic volunteer organizers at BMO Financial Group; this grass-roots event grew to become a national annual fundraiser for Kids Help Phone in 2008.

"In communities across the country, BMO employees made this year's Boo-la-thon a great fundraising success," said Sandra Hanington, Executive Vice President Product Operations and Process Simplification, BMO Financial Group and Kids Help Phone board member. "BMO is thrilled to be able to support Kids Help Phone, an organization that is crucial to children in our communities."

Sponsors for the BMO Boo-la-thon in support of Kids Help Phone included BMO Financial Group, AIR MILES Reward Program, BOSS Print + Creative, G4S, and WestJet.

As a charity, Kids Help Phone receives no core government or United Way funding. Instead, it relies on the support of community-based volunteers and individual and corporate donors to ensure that its counselling, information and referral services for kids can continue to operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

About Kids Help Phone

This year marks Kids Help Phone's 20th Anniversary. For the past two decades, Kids Help Phone has been at the forefront in providing help and hope through its phone and web counselling services, earning the respect and trust of kids across Canada. When young people feel like there's nowhere to turn, when parents, schools and social services are unavailable, closed, backlogged or simply not accessible for any reason, Kids Help Phone is there. Young people know that when they reach out to Kids Help Phone, any time of the day or night, they'll be connected with a professional counsellor who can provide immediate, kid-friendly insight, help and direction on a wide variety of concerns that are important to them.

Last year, Kids Help Phone counsellors connected with kids in almost 3,000 Canadian communities more than 2.2 million times. By continuing to reach out to kids in meaningful and innovative ways, Kids Help Phone will remain a trusted part of kids' lives for many years to come.

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 and, through BMO's extensive network of employee volunteers, provides leadership support for chapters of Kids Help Phone from coast to coast. In 2009, notable contributions to Kids Help Phone from BMO Financial Group and its employees included $300,000 raised from the BMO Presidents' Cup Golf event, $200,000 annual sponsorship for Kids Help Phone's Student Ambassador Program and last year employees raised $566,000 during the BMO Boo-la-thon in support of Kids Help Phone (bowling fundraisers) and several other local fundraising initiatives.

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

SOURCE 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; Kasia Lech, BMO Financial Group, (416) 867-5394, kasia.lech@bmo.com


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