TOYS"R"US®, CANADA LAUNCHES "BE A HERO FOR AUTISM" FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN TO BENEFIT AUTISM SPEAKS

TORONTO, Feb. 22 /CNW/ - Toys"R"Us, Canada today announced the launch of its nine-week in-store fundraising campaign to benefit Autism Speaks Canada, who together with Autism Speaks in the US forms North America's largest autism science and advocacy organization. Now through April 30, monetary donations will be collected at all Toys"R"Us® and Babies"R"Us® stores and online at Toysrus.ca. This year, the company unveiled a new theme, "Be A Hero For Autism," which highlights the everyday heroism of children affected by the disorder, as well as their caregivers and those who are helping to find the cause and cure of autism by donating time and money.

"With the prevalence of autism on the rise in Canada, we wanted to shine a spotlight on the everyday heroes of this disorder. This includes both children who learn to overcome obstacles and reach new milestones and those who know a child with the disorder and are committed to helping solve the puzzle," said Kevin Macnab, President, Toys"R"Us, Canada. "At Toys"R"Us, we love kids and we are proud to partner with Autism Speaks Canada in their mission to fund research on autism and advocate for the needs of individuals with this disorder and their families."

Consumers Can "Be A Hero For Autism" In-store
During the nine-week campaign, customers can donate $1 at all Toys"R"Us and Babies"R"Us locations and online at Toysrus.ca. Inspiring in-store signage displayed in Toys"R"Us and Babies"R"Us stores across the country will highlight children with autism as super-heroes and appeal to consumers to donate by looking to the hero within.

"The "R"Us family and its customers have truly embraced the autism community through their generous support of Autism Speaks Canada during last year's campaign," said Suzanne Lanthier, Executive Director, Autism Speaks Canada. "Children, youth and adults with autism are heroes to us all, and the heroic efforts of Toys"R"Us and its customers will help get us many steps closer to solving the autism puzzle and help to support families living with the often devastating emotional and financial realities of autism."

Walking To Benefit Autism Speaks Canada
Toys"R"Us, Inc. is the national sponsor of Walk Now for Autism Speaks, a series of walk events in communities throughout North America. During the five events in Canada, teams of Toys"R"Us employees will walk alongside the company's iconic mascot Geoffrey the Giraffe and individuals with autism, their families and friends to raise money and awareness. All funds raised in Toys"R"Us and Babies"R"Us stores, online and through the Walk Now for Autism Speaks events will go directly to Autism Speaks Canada to support research, family services and awareness efforts. 

Toys"R"Us, Inc. launched a partnership with Autism Speaks in 2007. Toys"R"Us, Inc., the Toys"R"Us Children's Fund and customer contributions have combined to provide Autism Speaks with more than $8.4 million, making Toys"R"Us, Inc. the largest corporate partner for Autism Speaks. Last year's Canadian in-store and online fundraising campaign raised $600,000 for Autism Speaks in Canada alone. Approximately 850 Toys"R"Us and Babies"R"Us stores in the United States, and online at Toysrus.com/AutismSpeaks will also collect donations. Earlier this month, the Toys"R"Us Children's Fund kicked off the 2011 campaign by providing a $400,000 grant to Autism Speaks.

About Toys"R"Us, Canada
Toys"R"Us (Canada) Ltd. is part of Toys"R"Us, Inc., the world's leading dedicated toy and baby products retailer. Toys"R"Us, Canada operates 70 stores across the country. For store locations and convenient online shopping visit www.Toysrus.ca.

About Autism
Autism is a complex neurobiological disorder that inhibits a person's ability to communicate and develop social relationships, and is often accompanied by behavioral challenges. Autism spectrum disorders are diagnosed in one in 110 children in the United States, affecting four times as many boys as girls. The prevalence of autism increased 57 percent from 2002 to 2006. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have called autism a national public health crisis whose cause and cure remain unknown.

About Autism Speaks & Autism Speaks Canada
Autism Speaks together with Autism Speaks Canada forms North America's largest autism science and advocacy organization. Since its inception in 2005, Autism Speaks has made enormous strides, committing over $142.5 million to global research initiatives through 2014 and developing innovative new resources for families. The organization is dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families.  Each year Walk Now for Autism Speaks events are held in more than 80 cities across North America. To learn more about Autism Speaks Canada, please visit www.autismspeaks.ca. Information on Autism Speaks US can be found at www.autismspeaks.org 

SOURCE Toys "R" Us (Canada) Ltd.

For further information:

Media Contacts:
Ashley Agueci
Optimum Public Relations
416-306-6717
ashley.agueci@cossette.com


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