Stuffed Backpacks Give Kids a Leg Up

    TORONTO, Aug. 19 /CNW/ - More than 4,500 disadvantaged kids across Canada
will start off the 2008-09 school year the way it should be started - with a
brand new backpack full of scholastic essentials otherwise unobtainable to
    During a kick-off event in Toronto today, KidsFest and Grand & Toy, with
help from more than 100 employees, as well as RCMP and RBC volunteers, will
stuff 2,400 backpacks for students in need. As part of the exclusive
sponsorship, Grand & Toy has secured donations and items at cost price from
its various vendors to fill a total of 4,500 backpacks with rulers, glue
sticks, pens, paper, erasers, scissors and other fundamental tools valued at
$125 each.
    "Every child deserves to start off the school year with the same tools as
their classmates, but with one in six kids living in poverty, this isn't
always possible," said Brian Warren, CEO of KidsFest Canada. "Through this
initiative we can help them get the supplies they need to send them on a path
toward future excellence and prosperity."
    As part of its commitment to giving back to the community, Grand & Toy
last year proclaimed KidsFest Canada as its exclusive corporate charity. Many
of the products included in this year's KidsFest 2008 Backpack Program were
generously donated by Grand & Toy partners including Sanford Canada,
Staedtler, Bic Inc., and Avery Dennison to name a few.
    "As a company that has been part of the Canadian landscape for more than
125 years, Grand & Toy believes in helping by providing supplies and time to
help disadvantaged children succeed," said Kevin Edwards, Vice President,
Marketing, Grand & Toy. "This program is not only about basic school supplies;
it's about showing kids in need that there are resources available to help
them reach their potential."
    For more information about KidsFest and their programs including the
Backpack Program, visit

    About KidsFest Canada
    KidsFest is dedicated to equipping elementary-aged children who live
below the poverty line, enabling them to become valuable contributors within
their respective communities and the nation. We provide children with the
basic tools necessary to break the cycle of generational poverty and achieve
life-long success. KidsFest's community matrix, which is the engine that gives
our programs sustainability, includes strong, lasting partnerships with
businesses, schools and community groups, offering innovative programs focused
on academic achievement, physical fitness and social interaction. Through our
comprehensive, education-based approach to eradicating child poverty, KidsFest
is paving a Pathway of Hope for the next generation!

    About Grand & Toy
    Founded in 1882, Grand & Toy has evolved from Canada's leading supplier
of office products to the nation's number one source for complete business
solutions. From office supplies, interiors, technology and business imaging,
to a host of essential services, Grand & Toy is enhancing office performance
by providing the tools and solutions needed to stay competitive in today's
fast-paced marketplace. Offering more than 10,000 products available through
an award-winning web site, detailed catalogue and over 40 retail locations
across Canada, Grand & Toy offers the resources, experience and insight to
help Canadian businesses realize their full potential. For more information

    (*)Source: KidsFest Canada

For further information:

For further information: Michelle Di Rocco, APEX Public Relations, (416)
924-4442 ext.260,; Lina Balsamo, KidsFest Canada, (905)

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