Ottawa couple recognized by RBC Insurance, Hockey Canada & Hockey Hall of Fame

    Ottawa's "RBC Local Hockey Leader" awarded $10,000 for hockey in
    their community

    TORONTO, March 1 /CNW/ - Ottawa residents Raymond and Cheryl Graham,
behind the scenes hockey volunteers with the Ottawa West Hockey Association,
will earn special recognition in the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.
    The Ottawa couple has been named as this year's RBC Local Hockey Leader
for the Ottawa District, one of 13 volunteer awards (one for each Hockey
Canada branch) granted today by RBC Insurance, with support from Hockey Canada
and the Hockey Hall of Fame. The winners, who will also receive a signed Team
Canada jersey, were chosen from more than 1,000 nominations received from
across the country.
    "This family lives and breathes hockey, and have volunteered in just
about every way imaginable," Elenia Ferrarin said in a nomination essay.
"Raymond has been a coach, trainer and member of the executive committee.
Cheryl works the bingo hall to raise funds, the canteen on game nights, and
serves as secretary and registrar for the association."
    As outlined in Ferrarin's nomination essay, for the past several years
the Grahams have also taken on the task of creating and maintaining the
outdoor rink at the local Bellevue Raven Park.
    RBC Insurance will donate $10,000 to the program in the couple's name.
Raymond and Cheryl are also invited to attend a special ceremony unveiling a
display honouring the 2006-07 RBC Local Hockey Leaders at the Hockey Hall of
Fame in Toronto. A banner recognizing their achievement will also be raised in
their local arena.
    "RBC Insurance is proud to recognize truly dedicated hockey volunteers
like Raymond and Cheryl Graham," said Neil Skelding, President and CEO, RBC
Insurance. "Hockey is a way of life in many Canadian communities, and this
simply wouldn't happen without volunteers."
    The RBC Local Hockey Leaders program is now in its fourth year. A panel
of experts including Hockey Hall of Fame Director of Public Affairs Ron Ellis,
Chair of the Board for Hockey Canada René Marcil, and 2006 Olympic gold
medalists Jennifer Botterill (Women's Ice Hockey) and Jean Labonté (Men's
Sledge Hockey) selected the winners based on guidelines that include
dedication, leadership, commitment and impact on hockey and hockey players in
their community. To date, the program has donated more than $450,000 to
grassroots hockey initiatives across Canada.
    "If you visit any arena in Canada, chances are you will hear people
talking about the RBC Local Hockey Leaders program and about a volunteer in
their community who is a perfect candidate for recognition," said Bob
Nicholson, President, Hockey Canada. "This program resonates across the
country, because every Canadian community has individuals that organize,
administer, fundraise, coach and do whatever it takes to keep hockey vibrant
in their communities. We appreciate RBC's continued leadership in recognizing
these volunteers."
    For more information and biographies on all of the RBC Local Hockey
Leaders, please visit

    2007 Regional RBC Local Hockey Leaders:

    Region                  RBC Local Hockey Leader  Community
    Hockey North            Dale Smith               Cambridge Bay, NU
    British Columbia        Gary Edwards             Cecil Lake, BC
    Alberta                 Brian Ennis              Red Deer, AB
    Saskatchewan            Johnny Ford              Gray, SK
    Manitoba                Henry Kazina             Tyndall, MB
    Ontario                 Murray Howard            London, ON
    Northwestern Ontario    Dan Reynard              Kenora, ON
    Ottawa District         Raymond & Cheryl Graham  Ottawa, ON
    Quebec                  Robert Nutbrown          Canton d'Ascot, QC
    New Brunswick           Garry Brooks             Fredericton Junction, NB
    Nova Scotia             John Murphy              Yarmouth, NS
    Prince Edward Island    Terri MacDonald          Central Bedeque, PEI
    Newfoundland & Labrador Joseph Lane              Port Aux Basques, NFLD

    About RBC Insurance

    RBC Insurance provides a wide range of creditor, life, health, travel,
home, auto and reinsurance products and services to more than five million
clients in Canada, the U.S. and internationally. These products and services
are offered through a wide variety of distribution channels, including the
telephone, independent brokers, travel agents, a proprietary sales force and
the Internet. More information is available at

For further information:

For further information: Brian Findlay or Bob Stellick, (416) 603-9452;
Jackie Braden, Media Relations, RBC, (416) 974-2124

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