KITCHENER, ON, April 23 /CNW/ - Canadian Tire today donated $17,000 to Friends of Veterans Canada (FOV) to help 20 veterans travel to Holland and participate in the 65th anniversary celebrations of Holland's liberation.
"We needed $75,000 to get 20 veterans to Holland. We raised $58,000 through several generous individual donations but were running out of time. On hearing about our efforts, the Canadian Tire Corporation stepped up to donate the remaining $17,000 we needed to get us on the plane," said Randy Young, President, Friends of Veterans Canada.
Friends of Veterans Canada is a charitable organization dedicated to documenting the experiences and inspiring stories of Canadian war veterans through video interviews. These interviews will be stored in the "Harry Watts Veterans' Video Library" so that future generations of Canadians can access them. Randy Young has been interviewing Canadian veterans across the nation and, last year, he also initiated a nationwide Video-a-Veteran program inviting students to submit video interviews of veterans who attended Remembrance Day events in their schools. To date, Friends of Veterans Canada has developed a library of 200 video interviews and, this year, selected 20 veterans amongst them to travel to Holland and take part in the celebrations for the 65th anniversary of Holland's liberation.
"A generous benefactor in London, Ont., a war veteran himself, had offered to donate $75,000 to sponsor our travel to Holland, but he sadly passed away and the money got held up in estate settlements," said Harry Watts, one of the 20 veterans travelling to Holland. "Now, thanks to contributions from individual donors and the Canadian Tire Corporation, all 20 veterans including me are set to leave for Holland on April 28, 2010."
"The Canadian Tire brand has deep roots in Canada's history and heritage," said Peter Kilty, Senior Vice President, Dealer Relations, Canadian Tire. "Our donation is a small token of our appreciation and tribute to our Canadian war veterans."
Every five years over the last three decades, a Dutch Committee of "Thank You Canada & Allied Forces" has welcomed Canadian veterans to Holland to thank them for the sacrifices they made to free Holland from German occupation. This year marks the 65th anniversary of Holland's liberation and will be the final such commemoration for our Canadian veterans. The week-long festivities begin on May 1, 2010 and 20 Canadian veterans will participate in several commemoration ceremonies, parades and military tattoos across Holland. For most of them, this will be the last opportunity to bid a final good-bye to their comrades who rest in Commonwealth and Canadian War cemeteries, and to stand on the very ground where they gallantly fought and won many years ago.
20 Canadians traveling to Holland include -
1. Mark Fuchco Calgary, Alta.
2. Jeff Rainey Edmonton, Alta.
3. Norman J Salive Edmonton, Alta.
4. John Forbes Miramichi, N.B.
5. Albert Walsh Miramichi, N.B.
6. Johan Muntz Ajax, Ont.
7. Brian Donald Muntz Ajax, Ont.
8. William James Magee Bowmanville, Ont.
9. David C. Sopha Cambridge, Ont.
10. Ken McAllister Fredericton, Ont.
11. Paul Morley Cane Kingston, Ont.
12. Harry Watts Kitchener, Ont.
13. Amy Verkley London, Ont.
14. Randy Matisko London, Ont.
15. Glen Duncan Rowe London, Ont.
16. John Edward Springer London, Ont.
17. Murray Stanley Dainard Napanee, Ont.
18. Yvon Pare St. Marie, Que.
19. Norman James Anger Edmonton, Alta.
20. Randy Young London, Ont.
/NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited members of the media/
SOURCE Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited
For further information: For further information: Randy Young, President, Friends of Veterans Canada, (519) 679-8190, firstname.lastname@example.org; Akshata Kalyanpur, Communications Advisor, Canadian Tire Corporation, (416) 544-7730, email@example.com