Great Valentine Gala honours UK's Sir Philip Craven, International Paralympic Committee President

TORONTO, Feb. 6, 2015 /CNW/ - Sir Philip Craven, President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), will be honoured with the annual Hon. David C. Onley Award this Feb. 7 at the 31st annual Great Valentine Gala, held at Toronto's Westin Harbour Castle.

The Canadian Foundation for Physically Disabled Persons (CFPDP) hosts the Gala, a Toronto tradition, providing a beacon of hope for Canadians living with disabilities. Sir Philip's award is named in honour of Onley, the first disabled Ontario Lt. Governor, who previously served as a Foundation board member.

"Sir Philip, a five-time Paralympian, is an exceptional example of why CFPDP is passionate about what we do," says The Hon. Vim Kochhar, Gala Founder and Foundation Chair. "We are so honoured to welcome the IPC president as our guest of honour."

Elected for a fourth successive term as IPC President, Sir Philip represented Great Britain in wheelchair basketball from 1972 to 1988, collecting world, European and Commonwealth Gold medals.

CFPDP supports Paralympic athletes and has assisted many organizations, programs, services, special events and homes for physically challenged Canadians. This year's recipients of its King Clancy Award are the medal winners from the 2014 Sochi Paralympic Games, several of whom will attend the Gala. 

The evening's honourary co-chairs include Ellis Jacob, President and CEO Cineplex Entertainment, and Anatol von Hahn, Scotiabank's Canadian Banking Group Head.  Other guests include The Hon. Trevor Eyton, Con Di Nino and Michael Wilson.  Gail Asper, President, Asper Foundation and Maureen Sabia, Chairman, Canadian Tire Corporation, will receive the Gala's Corporate Awards for their contributions to assisting the physically disabled.

Matt Dusk, a contemporary jazz crooner and one of Canada's most beloved male vocalists, will provide entertainment, a longstanding Gala tradition of hosting name performers. Past Canadian artists have included Randy Bachman, Chantal Kreviazuk, Leahy and the Jeff Healey Band.

"The Foundation has consistently encouraged Canadians to look at the ability of the person and what they're able to do," says The Hon. David C. Onley. "That's one of the reasons I have been honoured to be apart of the Great Valentine Gala through the last three decades."

About the Canadian Foundation for Physically Disabled Persons
In 1985, Vim Kochhar and the Rotary Club of Toronto-Don Valley organized the First Annual Great Valentine Gala. Since then. Kochhar and the CFPDP have initiated dozens of important projects and events, raising over $25 million. The Foundation's goal is to assist individuals with physical challenges to live fuller lives and raise awareness of their achievements and contributions to society.

SOURCE Canadian Foundation for Physically Disabled Persons

Image with caption: "The Great Valentine Gala (CNW Group/Canadian Foundation for Physically Disabled Persons)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150206_C8033_PHOTO_EN_11891.jpg

For further information: Deb Lewis, CityEvents, W 416-619-0596, C 416-579-3542, deborah@torontocityevents.ca

RELATED LINKS
www.cfpdp.com

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Canadian Foundation for Physically Disabled Persons

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