Eight community heroes in the running to be named Hamilton's 2013 Scotiabank Game Changer

This season's Scotiabank Game Changer will receive $25,000 towards their charity at the final game of the regular season and a trip to the 101st Grey Cup

HAMILTON, ON, Oct. 17, 2013 /CNW/ - The countdown is on for the reveal of which of the eight Regional Scotiabank Game Changer finalists will be named the 2013 Hamilton Tiger-Cats Scotiabank Game Changer on Saturday, October 26 during the second half of the Ticats final regular season home game. The winner will receive $25,000 for the charity or registered non-profit organization of his or her choice, a trip to the 101st Grey Cup Game in Regina plus recognition for their great work in the community.

The winner will be selected as the top Game Changer from a group of eight finalists who had each been named a Home-Game Scotiabank Game Changer earlier in the season and who each received a $1,000 donation for their designated charity.

"Through the Scotiabank Game Changers program, we have all had the opportunity to be introduced to truly special individuals who are a real credit to their community," said Ed Keohane, Scotiabank Senior Vice President, Ontario Region. "These eight game-changing finalists are an inspiration to all of us. On behalf of Scotiabank, I want to congratulate all of the nominees and thank them for the work they do every day to give back to their communities."

The winner will be selected based on a combination of public voting and a judging panel.

During the 2013 CFL regular season, Scotiabank has recognized a total of 24 Scotiabank Game Changers across sponsored CFL markets.


To celebrate their achievements, the following eight Game Changer finalists will be announced on-field during the game. Below is a list of the finalists and their designated charity or registered non-profit organization.

  • Sgt. James Mcllveen - Ontario Law Enforcement Torch Run
    • For 28 years, Sgt. James McIlveen has promoted the Special Olympics Torch Run at his detention centre. He began by selling t-shirts before becoming the local coordinator and then the regional coordinator for the torch run supporting the Special Olympics. He has helped with raising $1.6 - 1.8 million a year for the Special Olympics. He has also connected Special Olympic athletes to members of the NHL Old Timers Hockey Charities after finding that many of the athletes are inspired by past and present NHL stars.
  • Chris Robertson - Juravinski Cancer Centre
    • Chris Robertson has spoken at over 1,000 schools across Canada, encouraging students to make their communities and their schools better, as well as spreading an anti-bullying message. He established the To The Top Canada Award, showcasing the heroic contributions of Canadians in their communities. Chris has spoken to many charities and other non-profit organizations to help inspire them to do their part to improve their communities.
  • Tim McClure - Great Next Chapter Foundation
    • After being diagnosed with a Stage 4 cancer and months of difficult treatments, Tim McClue felt there was a need to create mental support for people that had been through serious illnesses and survived. He created the Great Next Chapter Foundation, which works to provide inspiration and motivation from diagnosis to recovery for those affected by any life-threatening illness. He also supports groups such as the Canadian Cancer Society, Relay for Life and projects like Knight's Cabin in Alberta.
  • Mike Bottosso - Skate the Dream
    • After seeing some of Hamilton's youth couldn't afford to take part in organized sports, Mike Bottosso co-founded Skate the Dream, a non-profit that gives inner city youth the opportunity to put on hockey equipment and skate in a local arena. The program gives the opportunity for children between the ages of 6 to 10 to participate in a program that helps them learn how to skate and play hockey. Mike and his non-profit volunteers reach out to the community to get gently used or donated equipment for the young people in the program.
  • Jessica Coriat - Toronto Rehab Foundation
    • At the age of 23, Jessica Coriat is dedicated to educating the public about people living with disability and advocating on their behalf.  Born with cerebral palsy, she found the Toronto Rehab Foundation and the LIFESpan program four years ago when she was unable to walk. Three weeks into her new therapy, she was able to move her legs. She was inspired to volunteer at the foundation three days a week, supporting the families, staff and patients and encouraging the patients to engage in their communities. In 2012, she was the top fundraiser for the foundation in the Scotiabank Charity Challenge for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, raising $11,000.
  • Kelly Meissner - Kate's Kause
    • After Kate Meissner's daughter was diagnosed with Angleman Syndrome (AS), a rare neuro-genetic disorder, she and her husband created Kate's Kause - a charitable organization dedicated to AS awareness and community projects. Kelly led efforts to create an inclusive playground, where children of all abilities could play, interact, and socialize together. She rallied the community, gaining support from our local government and securing the location and land donation. She also organized fundraisers to support the project.
  • John Gignac - The Hawkins-Gignac Foundation for CO Education
    • After the devastating loss of his niece, her husband and their children to accidental carbon monoxide poisoning, John Gignac wanted to warn other families about this danger to prevent similar tragedies. John is a leading crusader for carbon monoxide safety and the co-founder of the Hawkins-Gignac Foundation for CO Education. He has raised awareness across Canada and has raised money to donate over 1,000 CO alarms to the Woodstock and Brantford fire departments to make them available to underprivileged families.
  • Jeffrey Bilyk - Canadian Red Cross
    • Jeffrey Bilyk, a ground and flight paramedic, is dedicated to helping his community through his abilities and training in first aid. He has assisted in training programs at St. John Ambulance and volunteers for GlobalMedic. He has been a longtime volunteer with the Canadian Red Cross and is the new social media volunteer for the Canadian Red Cross National Zone, helping spread the message about how in cases of disaster every person is able to provide assistance.

For more information about the Scotiabank Game Changers program, go to www.ScotiabankGameChangers.com, visit us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter at @ScotiaCFL  #sbgamechangers.

About Scotiabank:

Scotiabank is committed to supporting the communities in which we live and work, both in Canada and abroad, through our global philanthropic program, Scotiabank Bright Future.  Recognized as a leader internationally and among Canadian corporations for our charitable donations and philanthropic activities, Scotiabank has provided on average approximately $47 million annually to community causes around the world over each of the last five years. Visit us at www.scotiabank.com.

SOURCE: Scotiabank - Sponsorships & Donations

For further information:

René Samulewitsch
High Road Communications

Diana Hart

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