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Leafs donate $1 million to Newfoundland health care system

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
"When the Toronto Maple Leafs ventured to St. John's, Newfoundland last weekend for the Blue and White Challenge intrasquad game and then a preseason contest against the Montreal Canadiens, they left behind far more than hockey memories for the people in that community. Coordinating a collaborative effort, the Maple Leafs delivered a cheque for $1 million to the "Give to Feel Good" campaign in support of the health care system in Newfoundland.

The cheque was presented at Monday's game with Montreal by Leafs President Ken Dryden, Newfoundland Premier Roger Grimes and representatives from the Montreal Canadiens, Molson and St. John's Sports and Entertainment to Victor Young, chairman of the "Give to Feel Good" campaign. The campaign's mission is to raise funds for the Health Care Corporation of St. John's and the Newfoundland Cancer Treatment and Research Foundation. The Maple Leafs contributed one-third of the $1 million total, while Newfoundland's provincial government matched those dollars two-for-one.

Mr. Young thanked those who made this gift possible, stating "words cannot express our sincere appreciation for having been chosen as the recipient of such a generous gift... we acknowledge the recognition by these organizations that the enhancement of our health care services is very important."

The "Give to Feel Good" campaign is a volunteer driven project that launched in June 2001. It serves as a collective effort to enhance medical care and research throughout the region.

In addition to the $1 million gift, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd, through its local affiliate St. John's Sports and Entertainment, presented $10,000 to be shared equally between the Salvation Army and the Canadian Red Cross in support of their disaster relief efforts related to the tragic events of September 11 in the United States.

The people of St. John's, Newfoundland sacrificed in countless ways to host airline passengers diverted from U.S. destinations to their town on the eastern-most shores of North America. Thousands of people from around the world made St. John's home during the days that they awaited word that their travels would be allowed to continue.

This was to be the first time in franchise history that the Toronto Maple Leafs training camp was held outside the province of Ontario. Three days of team practice at St. John's new Mile One Stadium leading up to the Blue and White Challenge and Montreal preseason game were cancelled as a result of the impact the terrorist actions in the United States had on the St. John's community. While the team was delayed in Toronto, the organization's community relations staff assisted the Red Cross and Salvation Army with serving stranded airline passengers and found time to hold several off-ice and on-ice hockey clinics for local youngsters. The Ford Off-Ice Hockey Tour was set up at Mile One Stadium prior to Sunday's Blue and White Challenge and thousands of fans had the chance to participate in the Tour's interactive games.

Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd. has been involved in the planning, building and management of Mile One Stadium, which resembles a smaller 6,000-seat model of Air Canada Centre. The Toronto Maple Leafs have had a long and successful relationship with its affiliate club the St. John's Maple Leafs, who move into the new arena with the start of the 2001-02 season. press_releases
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