Kooky and a Little Spooky - BMO Boolathon Raises Money for Kids Help Phone

More than 50 communities across Canada will participate October 29 & 30

TORONTO, Oct. 13, 2011 /CNW/ - Did you know vampires, princesses, and superheroes can bowl? On Saturday October 29 and Sunday October 30, people across Canada will wear their Halloween costumes and participate in the 2011 BMO Boolathon in support of Kids Help Phone.

Kids Help Phone saw a 20 per cent increase in service demand in 2011. The national, family-oriented fundraising event raises much-needed funds to ensure Kids Help Phone's professional counsellors continue to be there for young people everywhere. Last year $1 million was raised.

Started as a single-location event by BMO Financial Group employees in 1991, the BMO Boolathon in support of Kids Help Phone is an annual Halloween-themed bowling fundraiser where families, neighbours, colleagues and friends get together, put their best costume forward, and hit the lanes so the kids in their lives, the kids in their communities, and the *6.5 million kids in Canada can reach out for help at any time, for any reason. The event takes place in more than 50 communities across the country.

"Every day, our counsellors hear from kids who are facing frustration, sadness, and uncertainty," said Sharon Wood, President and CEO of Kids Help Phone. "The BMO Boolathon is absolutely critical to ensuring the young people in Canada continue to have a safe place to turn to when they feel ready to reach out to someone. Our promise to them is to remain available any time of the day or night, 365 days of the year. But we can't be there without the support of the community."

"The BMO Boolathon has been a tremendous success since it started twenty years ago, and we are thrilled to see the difference this event has made in communities across Canada," said Richard Rudderham, Executive Vice-President and Head of Human Resources, BMO Financial Group. "The overwhelming community support and volunteerism of BMO employees from coast to coast demonstrates our commitment to supporting Canada's youth, and we couldn't be more excited to help make this the largest Boolathon ever."

These are the communities where the Boolathon is taking place this year:

British Columbia: Abbotsford, Nanaimo, North Shore, Salt Spring Island, Surrey, Vancouver, Victoria (in BC, the BMO Boolathon is taking place on Saturday October 22nd)

Alberta: Calgary, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie, Lethbridge, Ponoka, Red Deer

Saskatchewan: Moose Jaw, Regina, Saskatoon

Manitoba: Winnipeg

Ontario: Barrie, Brantford, Burlington, Chatham, Cornwall, Hamilton, Kingston, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Niagara, Norwich, Orillia, Ottawa, Owen Sound, Peterborough, Quinte, Sarnia, Sault Ste. Marie, Stratford, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Windsor

Ontario GTA: Brampton, Durham (Oshawa), Etobicoke, Mississauga, North York, Toronto (Downtown), Toronto (Yorkdale), York Region

Quebec: Huntingdon, Montreal, Québec City

New Brunswick: Moncton, Saint John

Newfoundland & Labrador: Bay Roberts, Clarenville, Corner Brook, Gander, Grand Falls-Windsor, Marystown, St. John's, Stephenville

Nova Scotia: Halifax

Kids Help Phone is a community-based national organization that relies almost exclusively on the financial support of corporations, foundations and individuals to ensure that every child that takes the courageous step of reaching out for help receives the meaningful support they seek. Interested bowlers and supporters can register and donate at www.boolathon.ca.

About Kids Help Phone
Kids Help Phone is Canada's only bilingual phone and on-line counselling service for youth. It's free, anonymous and confidential.  Professional counsellors are available any time of the day or night, 365 days a year, to help young people deal with concerns large or small.  As a national community-based charity, Kids Help Phone relies on individual and corporate donations to fund these vital services. In 2010, the professional counsellors at Kids Help Phone assisted kids from more than 2,500 communities throughout Canada, more than 4,300 times a week either through phone or web consultation.

About BMO
As a Founding Sponsor, BMO Financial Group has expressed unwavering commitment to Kids Help Phone since its inception in 1989. BMO is proud to be the title sponsor of the BMO Boolathon in support of Kids Help Phone, a fun and highly successful fundraising event created by a group of BMO employees in 1991. In 2010, the event was hosted in close to 50 sites across the country, raising $1 million to help fund essential phone and online counselling services for children throughout Canada. BMO also supports a number of local Kids Help Phone events.

* Source: Statistics Canada 2010, represents the population of young people between the ages of five and 20 served by Kids Help Phone.

SOURCE: Kids Help Phone

For further information:

Media Contacts: 

BMO Financial Group: 
Beja Rodeck, Toronto, beja.rodeck@bmo.com, (416) 867-3996
Sarah Bensadoun, Montreal, sarah.bensadoun@bmo.com, (514) 877-8224

BMO Boolathon and Kids Help Phone:
Toronto, (416) 581-8955
Deborah Jussome, Montreal, deborah.jussome@jeunessejecoute.ca, (514) 273-7007 ext 8217


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