TORONTO, Nov. 16, 2012 /CNW/ - Cold and uncomfortable, more than 50 business and community leaders spent last night outside in downtown Toronto to raise more than $520,000 for homeless kids at Covenant House.
Leafs GM Brian Burke and Dragons' Den's Arlene Dickinson led the participants, armed with only a sleeping bag and pieces of cardboard as temperatures dipped to around 0C to raise awareness of the plight of homeless youth and support for the agency.
Among the group were Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair, Scotiabank's Senior Marketing VP Duncan Hannay, Property Brothers Drew and Jonathan Scott, Sleep Country Canada's Christine Magee, Philanthropist Suzanne Rogers, and Toronto City Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam.
The event attracted twice as many participants than expected and raised more than $300,000 over the original goal.
"We're all a little sore but I couldn't be more grateful for the overwhelming success of this effort," said Covenant House Executive Director Bruce Rivers, who was among the participants. "As important as the much-needed funds are, this was also a great opportunity to raise awareness of this critical issue, and show our kids the community cares."
He notes that the night provided participants with only a glimpse of the hardship kids face on the street. As many as 10,000 kids spend some time on the city's streets every year.
The local effort was part of an international event happening simultaneously at 11 other Covenant House sites across North America, including Vancouver that raised more than $2.5 million.
Covenant House Toronto is the country's largest shelter and support service for homeless youth, serving about 3,500 young people annually.
Image with caption: "Leafs GM Brian Burke, Arlene Dickinson of Dragons' Den and Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair were among 50 other community and business leaders who slept out Thursday to help homeless youth at Covenant House. The event raised more than $500,000 for the agency's work. (CNW Group/Covenant House)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20121116_C8864_PHOTO_EN_20803.jpg
SOURCE: Covenant House
For further information:
Rose Cino, Communications Manager
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