TORONTO, Dec. 12, 2013 /CNW/ - Today, Lia Grimanis, founder of Up With Women and recognized as one of Canada's most powerful women, set a new Guinness World Record for the "Heaviest Vehicle Pulled 100ft By A Woman". Lia pulled a 17,000lbs transport truck to raise awareness for women and girls at risk and to inspire women to realize they are stronger than they think they are.
"As a survivor of homelessness and violence in the home, I wanted to show women who are struggling that anything is possible, and that we are all stronger than we think we are," said Grimanis. "I didn't think I would live past the age of 21. On December 12, I celebrate my 42nd birthday and I'm thrilled to use this opportunity to be able to give back through the truck pull to those who supported me when I was homeless -- the YWCA and other shelters, and invest in the lives of women and girls at risk."
The event took place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Marnie McBean, three-time Olympic champion, participated as a guest judge.
"Accepting big goals is intimidating," said McBean. "Unfortunately, that's why too many people hesitate to 'think big' and try to make a positive change. Lia is a normal person who does incredible things because she makes it a habit to accept the fear and challenge that comes with big goals, demonstrating to others that they too can be, and are, stronger than they think. "
Maple Leaf Foods, one of the event's primary sponsors is donating 10,000lbs of food - 1,000lbs for every 10 feet Lia pulled the truck - to the YWCA Toronto.
"Lia, the Up With Women organization and the YWCA Toronto play tremendous roles in shaping bright futures for so many women and girls who need a helping hand," said Michael McCain, President and CEO of Maple Leaf Foods. "We are proud to provide the YWCA with nutritious food that will help thousands of women enjoy healthy, balanced meals and to partner with Lia to get the message out that women and girls at-risk can be the leaders they have always wanted to be."
Canada Cartage, one of Canada's leading transportation and logistics companies, provided the transport truck for the event.
"Our company is excited to support Lia and her foundation in this event," said Jeff Lindsay, President and CEO of Canada Cartage. "Lia's story is inspirational, and sends a message of hope and encouragement to women living in difficult circumstances."
About Up With Women
Since 2009, Up With Women has supported women at-risk of homelessness to become fully independent and active members of their communities. Up With Women runs a free year-long career-coaching program to move women to the next level of economic independence and break the cycle of poverty. For more information, please visit www.upwithwomen.com
Attention Editors, B-Roll and Photos: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/j1otc56gt1579g3/v8VTyT6Wu0?n=66920558
Why This Story is Important Now
While Canada's unemployment rate has stabilized at 7.2%, several economic indicators reveal that certain segments of the population need more help. Long-term unemployment is currently at its highest rate since 1998. Since 2008, it has risen sharply from 5.6% to 11.8%. More than 250,000 Canadians were unemployed for 27 weeks or longer last year, almost double the levels of five years ago. The longer that someone is out of a job, the harder it is to get back into the workforce. Food bank use is at near record levels in Ontario. Affordable housing is at near record highs.
Why Invest in Women
In particular, precarious employment affects women most of all. Women are more likely to work part-time. They work fewer hours. And their incomes are lower, not just because they work less, but because they are paid less, on average, per hour.
Why Up With Women is Unique
Up With Women's unique year-long coaching program is tailored towards moving at risk women from poverty to economic empowerment. Since 2009, Up With Women has supported women at-risk of homelessness to become fully independent and active members of their communities. Up With Women graduates go on to become entrepreneurs, small business owners, and professionals. For more information, please visit www.upwithwomen.com
- LONG TERM UNEMPLOYMENT: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/economy-lab/long-term-unemployment-a-blight-despite-solid-gains-since-recession/article8449679/)
- WOMEN PAID LESS: http://cupe.ca/economics/economy-work-women-pay-gaps-nationwide
- FOOD BANK USE IN ONTARIO: .http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/food-bank-use-near-record-level-in-ontario-report-says-1.2447361
- AFFORDABLE HOUSING AT RECORD HIGH LEVELS: http://www.thespec.com/news-story/4205208-affordable-housing-wait-lists-still-climbing-in-ontario/
About Lia Grimanis:
- Founder of Up With Women helping to empower homeless women and girls rebuild their lives.
- Named one of Canada's 100 most powerful women by the Women's Executive Network
- Named 2012 Woman of the Year by Chatelaine
- First Canadian to complete the Fjord rally 1000km winter motorcycle expedition in the subarctic, the hardest winter motorcycle rally in the world.
- First Canadian woman to ride over the world's highest motorable roadway (18,300 ft, 900ft shorter than Mt. Kilimanjaro)
Video with caption: "Video: Lia Grimanis Guinness Book of World Record promo video". Video available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/cgi-bin/playback.cgi?file=20131212_C4027_VIDEO_EN_34909.mp4&posterurl=http://photos.newswire.ca/images/20131212_C4027_PHOTO_EN_34909.jpg&clientName=Up%20With%20Women&caption=Video%3A%20Lia%20Grimanis%20Guinness%20Book%20of%20World%20Record%20promo%20video&title=UP%20WITH%20WOMEN%20%2D%20Lia%20Grimanis%20Sets%20Guinness%20World%20Record%20for%20Heaviest%20Vehicle%20Pull%20in%20Support%20of%20Women%20and%20Girls%20At%20Risk&headline=Lia%20Grimanis%20Sets%20Guinness%20World%20Record%20for%20Heaviest%20Vehicle%20Pull%20in%20Support%20of%20Women%20and%20Girls%20At%20Risk
SOURCE: Up With Women
For further information:
Up With Women
CEO and Truck Puller
Guinness Book of World Records
Director of Public Relations
Maple Leaf Foods
SVP, Sales & Marketing
905-564-2115 x 4300