Canadian celebrities' paintings raise $13,000 for kidney disease

A Brush of Hope for more than 20,000 afflicted with incurable disease

FREDERICTON, Nov. 17 /CNW/ - More than 20,000 Canadians who require kidney dialysis were given a ray of hope after a unique fundraising campaign generated thousands of dollars for kidney disease research.

A Brush of Hope, a campaign that saw noteworthy Canadian celebrities paint 8" X 10" canvases and auction them off on EBay, wrapped up today raising approximately $13,000 for The Kidney Foundation.

Celebrities such as musicians Alex Lifeson and Stompin' Tom Connors; hockey player John Tavares; author Stuart Maclean; comedian Brent Butt and New Brunswick Premier Shawn Graham, rallied together for the cause, painting 104 canvases that were displayed at several venues in New Brunswick in the weeks leading up to the online auction, which took place from Nov. 5 to 15.

"This campaign captured the creativity of the celebrities and intrigued the community. As a result, it provided The Kidney Foundation with critical research funding to help find a cure for a widespread disease," said Mike Tierney, president of UPS Canada, a major sponsor of the Brush of Hope event. "We are proud to have lent our support to such an important cause, one that offers hope to so many people."

Approximately 20,500 Canadians require dialysis treatment to live, and another 12,400 have received a vital kidney transplant, with 3,000 people still on waiting lists.

UPS was inspired to sponsor A Brush of Hope by one of its employees Darren Martin, a UPS employee in New Brunswick, and chair of the New Brunswick chapter of The Kidney Foundation. Darren received a kidney transplant seven years ago. "I was very fortunate to not only have support from my family but also from my employer UPS, and the Kidney Foundation," said Martin. "It made things easier during a really difficult time."

"A Brush of Hope is a celebration of Canadian culture through art, and a demonstration of how Canadians come together to support others in need," said Tim Fox, executive director, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island Branch of The Kidney Foundation of Canada. "Organizing and executing such an event involves a tremendous amount of work and support. We are very thankful that UPS Canada is one of our major sponsors, allowing us to eliminate the cost of shipping."

Those interested in viewing the celebrity paintings online can do so at http://www.kidney.ca/nbpei.

    
    About the Kidney Foundation of Canada
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The Kidney Foundation of Canada is the national volunteer organization committed to reducing the burden of kidney disease through funding and stimulating innovative research, providing education and support, promoting access to high quality healthcare and increasing public awareness and commitment to advancing kidney health and organ donation.

Nearly two million Canadians either have kidney disease or are at risk of contracting the disease.

    
    About UPS
    ---------
    

UPS (NYSE: UPS) is the world's largest package delivery company and a global leader in supply chain and freight services. With more than a century of experience in transportation and logistics, UPS is a leading global trade expert equipped with a broad portfolio of solutions. Headquartered in Atlanta, GA., UPS serves more than 215 countries and territories worldwide. The company can be found on the Web at www.UPS.com. To get UPS news direct, visit www.pressroom.ups.com/RSS.

SOURCE UPS Canada Ltd.

For further information: For further information: Contacts: Shannon Morton, APEX Public Relations, smorton@apexpr.com, (416) 924-4442, ext 253; Tara Smith, UPS Canada, mediarelations@ups.com, (905) 676-1708


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