Fund A Champion campaign commits dollars to dreams of 10 burgeoning
Olympic athletes across Canada
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MONTREAL, June 23 /CNW/ - A select group of Canadian Olympic and
Paralympic hopefuls inched closer to a possible podium standing in Vancouver
today with the introduction of the Molson Export Fund A Champion campaign,
which will see the brewer commit up to $20,000 each to a group of 10 emerging
athletes from across Canada to help them close the competitive gap in their
respective sports heading into the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
The 10 designated athletes (seven Olympians and three Paralympians)
represent Canada's four regions: Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario and Western
provinces. Each athlete will receive an initial $8,000 from the Molson
Donation Fund (http://www.molson.com/Community/DonationFund.aspx), in support
of the company's Active Lifestyles and Healthy Communities pillar. Molson will
then call upon its employees to "adopt" the athletes by encouraging staff to
raise funds in their names through a calendar of fundraising and community
events, such as BBQ's and sports tournaments, from which proceeds will flow
directly to the daily needs of the athletes. Molson Export
(http://www.molsonexport.ca/) will then match all employee donations, bringing
the per athlete total to $20,000.
"Molson has a long-standing tradition of supporting the communities in
which it operates - a tradition that dates back to our founder John Molson,"
said Gayle Padvaiskas, Marketing Director, Molson Export & Molson Dry for
Molson. "Part of creating healthy, vibrant communities is investing in
philanthropic giving and employee volunteerism to enable young adults to live
active lifestyles. Our involvement in Vancouver 2010 is an extension of this
ideal on the international stage. Molson and its 3,000 employees are
committing dollars to the dreams of our athletes to help make them a reality.
With less than a year to the Games, our support is crucial for their final
stages of intensive training."
Molson Canadian Fund a Champion Athletes:
- Mark Arendz - Paralympic Nordic Skiing - Hartsville, PEI
- Brittany Webster - Cross-Country Skiing - Caledon, Ontario
- Billy Bridges - Sledge Hockey - Mississauga, Ontario
- Jeff Batchelor - Snowboard - Oakville, Ontario
- François-Louis Tremblay - Short Track Speed Skating - Montreal,
- Joannie Rochette - Figure Skating - Ile Dupas, Quebec
- Jean Labonté - Sledge Hockey - Gatineau, Quebec
- Denny Morrison - Speed Skating - Calgary, Alberta
- Tom Velisek - Snowboard - Vernon, BC
- Melissa Hollingsworth - Skeleton - Eckville, Alberta
"As an Olympian, I can tell you it takes more than athletic ability,
passion and commitment to reach the podium, it takes a true team effort," said
Jennifer Button, Program Manager, Marketing, Canadian Olympic Committee
(http://www.olympic.ca/) and 2000 Olympic swimmer. "Partners like Molson
Export make it possible for our athletes to train harder, push further and
dream bigger to be their best in 2010.
"Five-time Canadian women's figure skating champion, 2009 World silver
medalist and 2010 medal hopeful Joannie Rochette
(http://www.joannierochette.com) added: "The vital backing that I receive from
the Molson Export Fund a Champion campaign not only takes the form of
financial support, but also moral support. I am extremely proud to be
associated with a company that has such a long and rich tradition of being
committed to Canadian sport."
Athlete selection followed a general call for submissions disseminated by
the winter National Sport Federation in March, 2009. From the initial pool of
submissions, final athletes were chosen by a selection committee composed of
Molson, the Canadian Olympic Committee, the Canadian Paralympic Committee and
the Canadian Olympic Foundation. The primary criteria for selection focused on
storytelling: athletes were asked to share specifically how the funds would be
used to help them achieve their goals at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and
Paralympic Winter Games (http://www.vancouver2010.com/).
What came through loud and clear was the need to improve basic equipment
and daily training requirements, which in the case of Joannie Rochette means
new skates and costumes, extra ice time and additional choreography sessions,
among other things.
"There's a reason they award you a gold medal when you become Olympic
champion - it does cost more to reach the pinnacle of your sport and stay
there. Everything from better equipment, to instruction, and greater access to
world-class competition. Molson's generous donation will be put to work right
away to help me increase the intensity of my training and preparation for the
Games. It couldn't come at a better time."
To be considered for the program all athletes had to be senior national
team member(s) and in good standing with the winter National Sport Federation
included on the official program of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games or
the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games. In addition, all athletes have to
be of legal drinking age in their province of residence.
In addition to its internal fundraising efforts, Molson Export will also
provide an opportunity for consumers to help fund champions with a
commemorative Olympic pin, from which they'll collect donations in the amount
of $20.10 for its Canadian Olympians and Paralympians (for two pins.) Visit
www.blog.molson.com/community to learn more.
Molson employees celebrated the news today and commemorated International
Olympic Day with a series of Olympic barbecues at each of their breweries and
sales offices across Canada, complete with Fund a Champion athlete
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