Sears Canada Congratulates Rotary Club of Toronto West's Lifetime Achievement
Award Winner Zeke O'Connor

Public Invited to Attend Awards Dinner, January 29, 2010

TORONTO, Jan. 28 /CNW/ - Sears Canada Inc. (TSX: SCC) today extended congratulations to Zeke O'Connor, Executive Director of the Sir Edmund Hillary Foundation of Canada, on being named the 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award winner of the Rotary Club of Toronto West.

"On behalf of all Sears Canada associates, I offer my heartiest congratulations to Zeke O'Connor on being presented this Lifetime Achievement Award," exclaimed Dene Rogers, President and Chief Executive Officer, Sears Canada Inc. "As the Company with which Zeke enjoyed a long and distinguished career dating back to the 1960's and, more recently, as a corporate supporter of the Sir Edmund Hillary Foundation of Canada which Zeke founded, Sears has enjoyed a five-decade relationship with Zeke. To see him honoured this way makes Sears proud and pleased to know a man with such significant achievements."

The public is invited to join members of the Rotary Club in honouring Mr. O'Connor at the 11th Annual Rotary Youth Impact Awards dinner on Friday, January 29, 2010 at the Old Mill Inn and Spa, Toronto. Ticket information is available at

Mr. O'Connor is a retired Sears executive who met the late Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man to summit Mt. Everest, on a canoe-camping trip through Northern Quebec's La Verendrye Park where the camping gear which was to carry the Hillary name in Sears stores was first field tested in 1972. Soon after, Mr. O'Connor accompanied Sir Edmund Hillary to Nepal and the two put into place plans for the Sir Edmund Hillary Foundation of Canada, of which Mr. O'Connor was named its first President. The Foundation's mission was to provide humanitarian services in the fields of health, education, conservation and reforestation for the Sherpas of Nepal, in the Solu Khumbu region at the foot of Mount Everest.

Today, the organization maintains and distributes funds for the purpose of helping to preserve the heritage and to improve the quality of life of the people of the Solu Khumbu region of Nepal by contributing to those same programs on which the Foundation planted its roots: health, education, conservation and reforestation.

"At Sears Canada, we have been able to be a part of the Sir Edmund Hillary Foundation which greatly helps the Nepalese people and their environment," added Mr. Rogers.

In addition to his work with the Foundation, Mr. O'Connor is proud of his accomplishments with many community organizations here in Canada where he has held leadership positions including Variety Clubs, Boys and Girls Clubs, the Salvation Army, Canadian Special Olympics, and the Sports Federation of Canada.

Mr. O'Connor's achievements began early in his life, notably as a member of the national champion Notre Dame Fighting Irish Football squad in 1946 and 1947. When he graduated in 1948 with a business degree, he entered the All-American Football Conference (AAFC) where he played with the Buffalo Bills for a year before being traded to the Cleveland Browns. The Browns went on to win the All-American Conference Championship in 1949. After three years of playing in the NFL, O'Connor accepted an offer to play for the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League (CFL) in 1952, when he caught a now-famous Grey Cup-winning touchdown pass in a victory that would be the Argos last national title for 31 years.

Following this, Mr. O'Connor joined Sears Canada and had a distinguished career spanning over three decades. He is still involved in activities for retired associates and contributes to his local community of Etobicoke in addition to the work he performs on both a national and international scale.

"We are extremely proud to award Zeke with our Lifetime Achievement Award," said Stephen Thiele, Chair, Youth Impact Awards Dinner and Secretary, Rotary Club of Toronto West. "The sale of tickets and corporate sponsorships, and proceeds of the silent auction and raffles that are held during the evening have always gone to worthy causes, and this year will continue that great tradition. I thank Sears for recognizing Zeke's accomplishments and joining us as a gold sponsor along with the Etobicoke Guardian, silver sponsor Royal LePage, and our many bronze and other sponsors."

Sears Canada is a multi-channel retailer with a network of 196 corporate stores, 195 dealer stores, 38 home improvement showrooms, over 1,800 catalogue merchandise pick-up locations, 108 Sears Travel offices and a nationwide home maintenance, repair, and installation network. The Company also publishes Canada's most extensive general merchandise catalogue and offers shopping online at

SOURCE Sears Canada Inc.

For further information: For further information: Contact for Media: Vincent Power, Sears Canada, Corporate Communications, (416)-941-4422,

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