President's Choice(R) Children's Charity Hits $30-Million Milestone



    In 2007 $8.8 million in grants awarded to more than 1,000 families across
    Canada, bringing total grants to $30 million and number of families
    assisted to 5,200

    TORONTO, Feb. 21 /CNW/ - In 2007 President's Choice(R) Children's Charity
(PCCC) and Loblaw Companies Limited (Loblaw) increased grants to families
across Canada by more than 40 per cent over 2006, awarding $8.8 million to
more than 1,000 families. This brings the total number of grants since its
inception to $30 million and the number of families assisted to 5,200, making
PCCC one of the largest corporate charities in Canada.
    Of the total grants awarded in 2007, $4.4 million was granted in Ontario,
$2.4 million in the West, $1.4 million in Quebec and $556,000 in the Atlantic
provinces. Of the requests fulfilled, 311 were for equipment, 269 for vehicle
adaptations, 193 requests for developmental therapy and the remaining requests
attributed to camp tuition, home improvements, respite and physical therapy.
    "Each year PCCC continues to grow, directly helping families achieve
major milestones at home through the Charity's assistance," says Galen G.
Weston, Executive Chairman of Loblaw Companies Ltd. and Chairman of PCCC.
"It's incredible to see the difference a van made accessible or a hearing
device makes to the lives of families with children with disabilities - it's
as simple as a son being able to visit friends or a daughter who can
communicate with her siblings."

    Families PCCC helped in 2007 include:

    
    -   Milla, seven years old, British Columbia
        Diagnosis: Abnormal Cerebellum
        Granted: Adapted Tricycle and Stroller ($4,299.47)
        Letter to PCCC from Milla's Mom:

        "Milla doesn't talk, but is trying, and she uses a walker. She will
        be going into grade two in the fall and is very popular at school;
        the kids love her. She has a fulltime educational assistant and knows
        her numbers and alphabet. Milla has never been able to ride a bike,
        but she would LOVE to. In fact, she would love to do all the things
        her big brother can do and what her little brother is starting to do.
        It is really sad to see her watching the kids play from the side or
        window. A bike she could ride would mean so much to us, and the world
        to her. She is so precious!

    -   Amelie, 16 years old, Nova Scotia
        Diagnosis: Cerebral Palsy
        Granted: Dynavox Communication Device ($13,200)
        Letter to PCCC from Amelie:

        My name is Amelie. I am suffering from Cerebral Palsy, and I live
        well with my disability. I am now in the 10th grade, and I follow the
        regular program. I am a happy person full of life. I have great
        difficulties talking, and I would like to be able to communicate and
        talk with my family. When I want to speak, I can't make them
        understand me, which is very frustrating. I have so many funny things
        to say, but I can't. I also find it difficult to make friends and
        this disappoints me greatly. In the classroom, when I want to ask a
        question, I have major difficulties expressing myself. Sometimes, we
        have family gatherings and I can't say a word, because I am the
        little girl who can not speak. Later, I would like to study at
        University to become an architect. Because my mother will not be with
        me always, and I want to have more autonomy, I would really
        appreciate your help.

    -   Zachary, 16 years old, Ontario
        Diagnosis: Cerebral Palsy
        Granted: Wheelchair Accessible Van ($20,000)
        Letter to PCCC from Zachary:

        I am very active and like to go lots of places and take part in lots
        of events. I also have a lot of friends and would like to be able to
        bring them along with me. I can't go with them when they go somewhere
        since they can't accommodate my wheelchair, or lift me in and out of
        their vehicle. My Dad does the best he can with our old van and his
        "portable" ramp, but the van is on its last legs and the ramp system
        doesn't work very well. I watch him struggle with it in the bad
        weather. More importantly, however, is the fact that I am getting
        tall and heavy, and I know that it is getting harder for Dad to lift
        me in and out of the front seat and to and from my chair. My Dad does
        not complain, but I can tell he is in a lot of pain sometimes, and I
        know he has to go for treatment for his sore back several times. My
        Dad has always been there for me and I know he will continue to
        struggle moving me around. I should also let you know that a couple
        of times while lifting me in or out of our van Dad has slipped and we
        both fell to the ground.
    

    Making a difference one child at a time

    The goal of PCCC is to remove obstacles that make everyday life extremely
difficult for children with disabilities and their families. By providing
financial assistance in the form of mobility equipment, environmental
modifications and more, PCCC is able to supply much-needed resources and help
provide a renewed sense of independence, dignity and freedom for children with
special needs.
    PCCC is a national charity which differs from other corporate charities
in that grants are awarded directly to local families rather than the funding
being dispersed through third-party charities or groups. Loblaw Companies Ltd.
fully covers the costs of administration and operations for PCCC, ensuring
that 100 per cent of every dollar donated is awarded in the province in which
it is donated.
    Raising funds for PCCC takes place across all Loblaw banners and stores,
both through local community initiatives such as car washes, BBQs and in-store
coin boxes to national fundraising initiatives including the sale of The
President's Choice(R) Decadent Cookie during promotional periods and the Jaden
Bear sold during the festive season. Additionally, our customers raise money
for the purpose of the Charity, and in 2007 Loblaw colleagues directly
contributed $2 million with the company matching this with an additional
$1 million donation.

    How you can help the President's Choice Children's Charity

    Donations can be made online at: www.presidentschoice.ca/childrenscharity
    or by mail:

    President's Choice(R) Children's Charity
    1 President's Choice Circle
    Brampton, Ont. L6Y 5S5

    About President's Choice(R) Children's Charity

    Founded in 1989, PCCC is dedicated to making difficult lives a little
easier by helping children who are physically or developmentally challenged
remove obstacles that make everyday living extremely difficult through funding
for adaptive equipment, environmental modifications, therapy and more. The
charity ensures that 100 per cent of every dollar donated goes directly to
helping children. With offices in Toronto, Calgary, Dartmouth and Ville
Saint-Laurent, more than $30 million has been granted, assisting more than
5,200 families across Canada. Charitable Registration No. BN 86842 1546
RR0001.

    About Loblaw Companies Limited

    Loblaw Companies Limited is Canada's largest food distributor and a
leading provider of general merchandise, drugstore and financial products and
services. Through its various operating banners, Loblaw is committed to
providing Canadians with a one-stop destination in meeting their food and
everyday household needs. This goal is pursued through a portfolio of store
formats across the country. It also offers one of Canada's strongest control
label programs, including the unique President's Choice(R) and no name(R)
brands. Loblaw is one of the largest private-sector employers in Canada,
employing over 139,000 full-time and part-time employees.




For further information:

For further information: Danielle Rouleau, (905) 459-2500 x3639,
danielle.rouleau@loblaw.ca


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