Kids Help Phone Launches Futures Campaign with $2 Million Donation from BMO Financial Group



    Donation to fund urgent upgrade of web-based capabilities: reflects
    growing relevance of online services in kids' lives

    TORONTO, Nov. 8 /CNW/ - Kids Help Phone launched its first-ever major
gift campaign at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre earlier today with the
announcement of a $2 million donation by BMO Financial Group.
    In addition to the gift by BMO Financial Group, The Futures Campaign has
already received support from various donors including another lead gift of
$750,000 from Rob and Ruth Peters and family of Calgary, AB, bringing Kids
Help Phone more than 50 per cent of the way to its goal of raising the
$7.5 million necessary to ensure the service can sustain current operations
while planning for future growth.
    "We are thrilled at the generous show of support we have received for The
Futures Campaign," said Tom McAllister, President & CEO, Kids Help Phone. "The
investment by BMO Financial Group, the Peters family and our other generous
supporters will help ensure that we maintain and enhance our relevancy to
children as they continue to embrace web-based communication."
    Funds raised by The Futures Campaign are being earmarked by Kids Help
Phone for investment in:

    
    -   Increasing counselling resources: Kids Help Phone uses only
        professional counsellors on their phone and online services;
    -   Virtual infrastructure: enhancements to their website, the
        development of an electronic training system for counselling staff
        and a knowledge management system to provide ready access to key
        information in the service's two bilingual counselling centres;
    -   Research and public education on kids' issues and
    -   Organizational sustainability.
    

    "Last year, Kids Help Phone helped kids more than 1.5 million times, yet
the demand continues to increase. Too many children remain at risk because we
do not have the web site capability to meet the demand from young kids who
communicate primarily in the web world," said Graham Parsons, EVP, Global
Private Banking, BMO Financial Group, and National Chair of the Futures
Campaign.
    "The gift from BMO Financial Group, in combination with the generous
donations from our other Futures Campaign supporters, means that Kids Help
Phone is well on its ways to meeting its goal of raising $7.5 million," added
Parsons.
    "BMO employees across Canada support Kids Help Phone by fundraising and
volunteering time," said Bill Downe, President and C.E.O. of BMO Financial
Group. "Kids Help Phone services are important for our communities and it is
satisfying for us to know that BMO's lead donation will help ensure that Kids
Help Phone can connect with the growing number of children, who might
otherwise fall through the cracks without that support."
    For more information about Kids Help Phone and The Futures Campaign,
please visit www.kidshelpphone.ca.

    About Kids Help Phone
    ---------------------
    Kids Help Phone is Canada's only toll-free, 24-hour, bilingual and
anonymous phone and web counselling, referral and information service for
children and youth. Every day, professional counsellors provide immediate,
caring support to young people in urban and rural communities across the
country. Kids contact Kids Help Phone about every issue imaginable - from
school, dating and family problems, to depression, abuse and suicide. In 2006,
Kids Help Phone helped young people in need from almost 3,000 Canadian
communities more than 1.5 million times through its phone and online services.

    About BMO Financial Group:
    --------------------------
    Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly
diversified North American financial services organization. With total assets
of $359 billion as at July 31, 2007, and more than 35,000 employees, BMO
provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment
banking products and solutions.
    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 2006 alone, corporate
sponsorship and employee support totalled over $840M. This includes $198M
raised from the BMO Golf-a-thon, almost $198M raised in employee pledges
through the Kids Help Phone Boo-la-thons (bowling tournaments), and $200M
annual sponsorship for Kids Help Phone's Student Ambassador Program.

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

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at http://photos.newswire.ca.
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/





For further information:

For further information: Virginia Middleton, Coordinator, Public
Relations, Kids Help Phone, Tel.: (416) 586-5437 x 8345, Email:
virginia.middleton@kidshelpphone.ca; Ralph Marranca, Director, Media and
Public Relations, BMO Financial Group, Tel.: (416) 867-3996, Email:
ralph.marranca@bmo.com, Internet: www.bmo.com


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