Media Alert: Toronto Walmart Walk for Miracles Draws Celebs, Kids' Characters and Thousands of Walkers to Raise Funds for SickKids

    TORONTO, June 9 /CNW/ - On Sunday, June 14, thousands of participants
will take part in the 2009 Toronto Walk for Miracles at Coronation Park to
raise funds for The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). The walkers will be
joined by famed Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Johnny Bower, Canadian singer
Justin Hines, and a roster of kids' characters from Mickey Mouse to Mr. Potato
    The sixth annual Walmart Walk for Miracles is being held consecutively in
12 cities. The company hopes to raise $4 million to support the 2.6 million
children who receive care each year at children's hospitals across the
    The Toronto Walmart Walk for Miracles will be led by SickKids patient and
Children's Miracle Network Champion Child Patricia Espin-Jurado. As a baby,
Patricia was diagnosed with a fatal condition known as Alagille syndrome, a
rare disorder affecting most of the organs in the body. Patricia had three
major surgeries at SickKids, the first at eight months old. When she turned
two, her condition worsened. In 2006, medication could no longer treat
Patricia and her liver began to deteriorate. She was placed on the liver
transplant waiting list and received a life-saving transplant in February
2007. Patricia's progress continues to astound doctors. At 11 years old
Patricia is remarkable young girl with an incredible spirit.

    What:     Toronto Walk for Miracles

              - Patricia Espin-Jurado, Champion Child and Grand Marshal for
                Walmart Walk for Miracles
              - Thousands of participants showing their support by taking
                part in a 1km family-friendly walk, 5km walk, and a 5km
                fun run.
              - Appearance by Johnny Bower
              - Family fun including appearances by kids' characters like
                Mickey Mouse, Mr. Potato Head, Mattel Little People, and more
              - Musical performance by Canadian artist Justin Hines
              - Spokespersons from SickKids Foundation, Children's Miracle
                Network and Walmart Canada

    When:     Sunday, June 14, 2009
              Fun Run begins at 9:00 a.m.
              Walk begins at 10:00 a.m.

    Where:    Coronation Park, Toronto


    Walmart Canada is the largest corporate sponsor of Children's Miracle
Network, raising funds and awareness through its annual miracle balloon
campaign, in-store events, vendor promotions, and its signature fundraising
event, the annual Walmart Walk for Miracles. Since 1994, Walmart Canada has
raised and donated more than $40 million to Children's Miracle Network.

    Walmart Canada operates a growing network of 312 outlets nationwide,
serving more than one million Canadians daily. With 80,000 associates, the
company is Canada's fourth largest employer. Walmart Canada has one of the of
the largest and strongest community involvement programs in Canada. In 2008,
the company raised and donated $20 million or $384,000 weekly, to support more
than one thousand charities and organizations in need.

    SickKids Foundation is the largest non-governmental granting agency in
children's health in Canada. Since 1972, the Foundation has generated more
than a billion dollars towards children's health care and has granted more
than $70 million to researchers across the country. Our mission is to inspire
our communities to invest in health and scientific advances to improve the
health of children in Canada and around the world. Our vision is "Healthier
Children. A Better World(TM)." In September 2005, SickKids Foundation launched
the largest fundraising campaign for a hospital in Canada. The SickKids
Believe fundraising campaign has a goal of $500 million to be reached by 2011.

    Children's Miracle Network is an international non-profit organization
dedicated to saving and improving the lives of children by raising funds for
children's hospitals and health foundations. Each year, over 170 Children's
Miracle Network hospitals, 14 of which are in Canada, create miracles by
providing the finest medical care, life-saving research and preventative
education to help millions of kids overcome diseases and injuries of every
kind. To donate or to learn more, visit

For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Laura Garcia, NATIONAL Public
Relations, (416) 586-0180,; Felicia Fefer, Walmart Canada,
(905) 821-2111 x 4466,; Caroline De Silva, SickKids
Foundation, (416) 529-8380,; John
Hartman, Children's Miracle Network, (905) 265-9750,

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