"A Dare to Remember" Challenges Ordinary Canadians to do Extraordinary Things for AIDS in Africa

    - k-os and others take on personal "dares" to support the Stephen Lewis
    Foundation -

    TORONTO, Aug. 31 /CNW/ - Can you imagine k-os helping you pick out a toy
at your local department store? What about seeing someone portage a canoe for
5km through Toronto's busy downtown core? Or joining friends for a 12-hour
mahjong mathon? These are just a few of the "dares" that Canadians are
challenging themselves to do on behalf of the Stephen Lewis Foundation (SLF)
to help raise awareness - and much needed funds - for AIDS-ravaged communities
across Africa.
    Beginning on August 31, 2009, the Stephen Lewis Foundation is challenging
all Canadians - including celebrities like k-os - to do something
extraordinary to help turn the tide of AIDS in Africa. People across the
country are being asked to choose any kind of "dare" (funny, healthy, sporty),
set a personal fundraising goal and encourage friends, family and colleagues
to sponsor them. Each dare will be performed during the nationwide Dare to
Remember fundraising week, which runs from October 17-25, 2009.
    "In Africa, the AIDS pandemic forces ordinary people to defy unimaginable
odds every single day and do extraordinary things to keep families together,
feed and educate children and comfort those reeling from grief," says Stephen
Lewis, Chair of the SLF. "A Dare to Remember celebrates the remarkable strides
African communities have made in restoring hope to families and in beating
back the AIDS pandemic. We want Canadians to stand behind these efforts."
    For celebrities such as k-os, the opportunity to choose a personal dare -
any dare - provides a refreshing and unique approach to supporting a
charitable cause.
    "My dare will take me back to my youth. I'm going to work a shift at my
first job in the toy section of a major department store," says musician k-os.
"I like the fact that people can use their imagination and choose a dare that
is relevant to them and then collect pledges to help raise funds for African
communities. I hope that my dare inspires others to take action, as I am a
firm believer that when united for a single cause we can all make a
    Additional daredevil celebrities who are participating in the campaign
include: Natalie Brown (star of CBC's Sophie), Jake Gold (renowned artist
manager and judge on CTV's Canadian Idol), Jeff Kassel (star of
Gemini-nominated comedy series, Testees), Romina D'Ugo (actress and top 20
finalist from last season's So You Think You Can Dance Canada), Amy Lalonde
(actress on CBC's Wild Roses) and Ngozi Paul (star of Global TV's
Gemini-nominated Da Kink in My Hair).
    The official website (adaretoremember.com) offers the public numerous
suggestions for dares, such as taking up a new sport, quitting smoking,
playing a violin concerto in public, going vegetarian, or attempting to live
completely off the grid for a week. Whether people choose to run a
half-marathon, sky-dive, or take circus acrobatics lessons, the more daring
the act, the more likely it will be to raise significant funds.
    Dozens of Canadians have already signed up for dares. Heather MacKenzie
from Edmonton, AB, will bungee jump 111 metres off Victoria Falls in Zambia.
Toronto-born Alexandra Bono will rollerblade 26.2 miles through Berlin in a
rollerblading marathon. Nine-year-old Esther Stewart, from Ottawa, ON, whose
dream it has been to go up the CN Tower, will climb 1,776 symbolic steps this
fall, representing the ascent to the Tower's main observation deck. Dr.
Rochelle Tucker, a professor from Burnaby, BC, has challenged her students to
do a dare, and they have challenged her back! Canadian grandmothers are
challenging friends and family to host 1,000 fundraising dinners across the
country from October 17-25 through A Dare to Dine.
    For those that have an excess of daring ideas and need an outlet for
their creativity, the SLF is calling on Canadians to submit dare proposals for
Stephen Lewis to consider performing during the week of A Dare to Remember.
The public can submit dare ideas to: dare@stephenlewisfoundation.org.
    Proceeds from A Dare to Remember will be used by the Stephen Lewis
Foundation to support community-based organizations in 15 sub-Saharan African
countries. These grassroots groups are pioneering approaches that are changing
the course of the AIDS pandemic. They provide counseling and education about
HIV care, prevention and treatment; distribute food, medication and other
necessities; reach the sick and vulnerable through home-based health care;
help orphans and vulnerable children access education and work through their
grief; and support grandmothers caring for their orphaned grandchildren.
    For more information about A Dare to Remember or to accept a dare
yourself, please visit: adaretoremember.com.

    The Stephen Lewis Foundation supports community-based organizations
working to turn the tide of HIV/AIDS in Africa. Since 2003, it has funded more
than 300 projects in 15 sub-Saharan African countries. To learn more, visit

For further information:

For further information: For media inquiries, please contact: James
Loftus, DDB Public Relations, (416) 963-4538, James.loftus@can.dbpr.com; Emily
Ward, DDB Public Relations, (416) 963-4295, Emily.ward@can.ddbpr.com

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