Ontario resident turned her willpower into horsepower!

    Canadian Cancer Society awards prizes to 10 smoke-free winners

    TORONTO, April 27 /CNW/ - Winners of the Canadian Cancer Society Driven
to Quit Challenge were awarded their prizes by Sylvia Leonard, Vice President
Community Engagement, Canadian Cancer Society and the Honourable Margarett
Best, Minister of Health Promotion, this morning at an official ceremony in
Toronto, Ontario. Grand prize winner, Rylee Richards of Thunder Bay, drove
away in a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu hybrid. Two others will each enjoy a $5,000
vacation getaway and seven more can each spend $2,000 at Canadian Tire. Ten
"support buddies" to the winners each received a $250 Canadian Tire gift card.
    The Driven to Quit Challenge is a health promotion campaign that
encourages Ontario adults who are daily smokers or tobacco users to make a
quit attempt with the support of a "buddy" for the chance to win a hybrid or
other prizes. Since 2006, The Driven to Quit Challenge has inspired more than
101,000 Ontarians to make a quit attempt.
    "While the car, trips and gift cards are great rewards, the best prize
for all of the entrants are the health benefits that they will gain by staying
smoke-free," says Sylvia Leonard, Vice President Community Engagement,
Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division. "Each of the 22,365 participants
who were able to make a quit attempt in this year's Challenge should be very
proud of their efforts."
    Winners were required to quit smoking for the month of March, 2009, and
verify their smoke-free status, to be eligible for their prizes. One hundred
per cent of the 2008 Driven to Quit Challenge winners have remained
smoke-free, over one year later.
    "All of my friends and family are so proud of me for quitting smoking and
winning a new car (through The Driven to Quit Challenge) is a great bonus!"
said Rylee Richards of Thunder Bay, the 2009 Driven to Quit Challenge grand
prize winner.
    "On behalf of the McGuinty government, I want to congratulate today's
winners of the 2009 Driven to Quit Challenge and my warmest thanks to everyone
who participated in the contest. You are all winners because every attempt a
smoker makes to quit smoking is a step in the right direction," said Ontario's
Health Promotion Minister, Margarett Best. "Our Smoke-Free Ontario Strategy
reflects the McGuinty government's commitment to helping Ontarians quit
smoking and assist them in taking that next step towards a healthy life."
    Participants in The Challenge are encouraged to get support maintaining
their decision to give up tobacco by calling the Canadian Cancer Society
Smokers' Helpline, toll-free, at 1 877 513-5333 and by registering at

    The Driven to Quit Challenge is hosted by the Canadian Cancer Society,
Ontario Division with funding from the Ontario Ministry of Health Promotion
and generous prize support from McNeil Consumer Healthcare, a wholly owned
subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson Inc. The Driven to Quit Challenge is presented
in collaboration with local public health departments across the province. The
public can view a full list of winners at driventoquit.ca.

    About the Canadian Cancer Society (Ontario Division)

    The Canadian Cancer Society is a national community-based organization of
volunteers whose mission is the eradication of cancer and the enhancement of
the quality of life of people living with cancer. When you want to know more
about cancer, visit our website www.cancer.ca or call our toll-free, bilingual
Cancer Information Service at 1 888 939-3333.

For further information:

For further information: about The Driven to Quit Challenge and to speak
with a Canadian Cancer Society spokesperson, please contact: Dagmara
Grabowski, Christina Alviano, Weber Shandwick, (416) 642-7904, (416) 642-7932,
dgrabowski@webershandwick.com, calviano@webershandwick.com; To speak with a
spokesperson from the Ministry of Health Promotion, please contact: Dipika
Damerla, Senior Communications Advisor, Office of the Minister, Ministry of
Health Promotion, (416) 326-8497

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Canadian Cancer Society (Ontario Division)

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