Toronto program wins North American award for CSR

One-of-a-kind program gives break to parents of special needs children

TORONTO, Feb. 25 /CNW/ - A prestigious awards program that recognizes organizations for outstanding Corporate Social Responsibility efforts recently chose Tourism Toronto's Relax, Recharge & Renew program to receive an award in the Community Affairs category.

PR News' annual CSR Awards are given to a range of largely U.S.-based organizations that are leaders in philanthropy, "green" initiatives, human rights and community giving. Tourism Toronto was chosen for outstanding corporate citizenship efforts and partnerships. Other award recipients include companies such as Oracle Corporation, The Allstate Foundation and Pepsi Bottling Group.

The CSR Awards were handed out yesterday at a ceremony at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. attended by hundreds of international journalists and public relations professionals. Tourism Toronto was ecstatic to be chosen for its Relax, Recharge & Renew program for outstanding corporate citizenship efforts and partnerships.

"We are extremely proud of this unique program and the support we have received from over 150 Tourism Toronto member organizations since we began a year and a half ago," said David Whitaker, President and CEO of Tourism Toronto. "We are thrilled that our international colleagues have also recognized its merit with this prestigious award and are mindful that we are making a real difference in our community."

The Relax, Recharge & Renew (RRR) program was started in summer 2008 as a unique way for businesses in the tourism and hospitality industry to participate in a community giving effort. The program provides parents of children with special needs a much-deserved break. Tourism Toronto, with the assistance of members and partners, provides a two-night hotel stay, limousine pick up, tickets to shows and museums and other attractions, and meals at local restaurants. Two families benefit from these weekend getaways every week and overall approximately 100 families are served each year.

The child with special needs is cared for in one of several high-quality, provincially-funded respite care centres. Under coordination of, the remarkable respite care facilities partnered on this program are Safehaven, Bloorview Kids Rehab, Community Living Toronto, Erinoakkids, and York Special Services.

In the past several months the RRR program has also been recognized by the Destination Marketing Association International as one of its Destination Champions for 2009 and won the Tourism Innovator of the Year award from the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario.

About Tourism Toronto

Tourism Toronto, Toronto's Convention and Visitors Association, is an industry association of more than 1,200 members established to sell and market the greater Toronto region as a remarkable destination for tourists, convention delegates and business travellers around the globe. For more information please visit

SOURCE Tourism Toronto

For further information: For further information: Cathy Riches, Tourism Toronto, (416) 987-9077,

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