Helping feed Canada's children, Darren Cole stands out from an impressive group of young philanthropists
TORONTO, Dec. 29 /CNW/ - Darren Cole will celebrate the New Year by directing $5,000 to a registered charity after being named "Canada's Top Teen Philanthropist" in Mackenzie Investments' third annual national search. The 16-year-old Toronto resident won for his tireless efforts to help Food Banks Canada.
As Canada's Top Teen Philanthropist of 2011, Darren receives a $5,000 donation, made in his name, to Food Banks Canada. He also personally receives $1,000, which will go towards his savings for post-secondary education. The five runners-up will also be rewarded with a $500 donation to the charity of their choice.
"Once again, our contest has demonstrated that Canada's younger generation have big hearts," says Brad Offman, Vice President, Strategic Philanthropy, Mackenzie Investments. "The drive and determination of these philanthropic teens hopefully will ignite the giving spark in us all."
Background on teen winner/charity
From filling 10,000 backpacks with school supplies to sorting food at the local food bank, Darren has been helping those in need since he was six years old. In Grade 9, Darren took his efforts further by creating TOPS for Teens, raising money for his school, and two years ago, created the group Kids Against Canadian Hunger, which encourages local schools to raise money for Food Banks Canada and has raised more than $13,000 to date. This past October he organized a conference on the hunger problem in Canada to help raise awareness and funds for food banks.
Canada's teen philanthropists give the most
According to a poll done in support of the third annual search for Canada's Top Teen Philanthropist, half of teen respondents believe the world won't be a better place for many in the future, with 49 per cent saying they believe social problems will be more prevalent in 50 years.
When it comes to contributing, both time and money are equally important according to 63 per cent of respondents. At 56 per cent, poverty issues such as homelessness continue to be the most popular causes for teens (poverty was the leading cause in 2009 polling).
Candidates were judged on a number of factors, including: the breadth of their volunteering and fundraising efforts, their leadership and creativity, their hands-on involvement in their philanthropic pursuits, the length and level of their involvement and the impact on their community and their charity.
Mackenzie also recognized the fine efforts of five additional teens with $500 each to be directed to the charity of their choice:
James Frobb, 19, Edmonton, AB: Inspired by the Canadian Cancer Society's Relay for Life event, James worked to bring the popular fundraiser to his Alberta hometown. As chair of the inaugural run, he helped to raise $70,000 for the CCS and inspired his entire community to get involved.
Anna Fricker, 18, Groves Point, NS: Since visiting Tanzania as an ambassador for World Vision, Anna has worked tirelessly to raise awareness and funds about human rights and the plight of victims of disease and poverty in Africa. Anna hopes to continue her work and help expand the youth programs offered through World Vision so she can make a difference to those in need.
Gorick Ng, 18, Toronto, ON: Gorick knows first-hand what poverty feels like and as one of the city's 90,000 young people who relied on school lunch and breakfast programs, he wanted to be part of the solution. As student ambassador to the Toronto Foundation for Student Success, he helped initiate Feeding Toronto's Hungry Students Week. Along with raising awareness, Gorick helped raise more than $12,000 for the program.
Ashley Tiller, 17, Sunderland, ON: Ashley knows how valuable an active mind can be and for the past four years she has volunteered with Precious Minds Resource and Learning Centre helping children with autism and developmental disabilities, putting in more than 1,000 hours of assistance and helping secure food donations.
Kimberley Fortin, 19, Pointe Claire, QC: For the past seven years, Kimberley has worked with Free the Children to help promote positive change in the world. Through Kimberley's strong leadership and her ability to empower youth to take action, her chapter has raised more than $94,000 for Free the Children.
Along with Jane Wu (2008's winner), a panel of high profile individuals selected this year's winner and finalists. They included: Craig Keilberger, founder of Free The Children; Monica Patten, President and Chief Executive Officer, Community Foundation of Canada; Danielle Silverstein, Executive Director, Jays Care Foundation; Carlos Bustamante, Host, YTV's The Zone; and Brad Offman, Vice President, Strategic Philanthropy, Mackenzie Investments.
For more information about the search and finalists, go to www.mackenziefinancial.com/teen.
About the survey:
The Mackenzie survey results are based on a Uthink national online survey conducted from November 17 to November 24, 2010. The final sample consisted of 250 respondents; total sample is accurate 19 times out of 20: ± 6.2%.
More information on charitable giving and the Mackenzie Charitable Giving Fund, which allows you to leave a legacy of giving, can be found at www.mackenziefinancial.com/giving.
Mackenzie Investments: Mackenzie Investments was founded in 1967, and is a leading investment management firm providing investment advisory and related services. With $66.2 billion in assets under management as of November 30, 2010, Mackenzie Investments distributes its services through a diversified network of third-party financial advisors. Mackenzie Investments is a member of the IGM Financial Inc. (TSX: IGM) group of companies. IGM Financial is one of Canada's premier financial services companies with over $125 billion in total assets under management as of November 30, 2010.
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