(February 6, 2006) -- Toronto Maple Leafs players and coaches will trade their jerseys and skates for aprons and trays Monday as they serve as celebrity waiters for the evening at the 13th annual Toronto Maple Leafs Have a Heart Dinner presented by AM640 Toronto Radio. The evening's proceeds benefit the Leafs Fund, the team's charitable arm. A portion of the raffle proceeds donated to Variety, the Children's Charity.
The event provides attendees with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get up close and personal with their favourite Leafs players at Ricoh Coliseum, home of the American Hockey League's Toronto Marlies. The opportunity to bid on several autographed memorabilia items and unique experiential packages including a Sidney Crosby autographed Pittsburgh Penguins jersey, a Mats Sundin game-worn autographed jersey and to be a participant in Keith Acton's Coaching Clinic are part of the night's experience.
"We're excited to bring back the very popular Have a Heart Dinner, which raises money for a worthy cause," said John Lashway, senior vice-president of communications and community development at Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. "The dinner serves as a celebration of the team's work both on-and-off-the-ice and gives players and coaches a chance to meet and thank fans for their support."
Leafs players and coaches will be joined by their wives and partners as they serve a family-style five course Italian meal. The "Taste of Turin" menu is themed in recognition of the upcoming Olympic winter games. Leafs Bryan McCabe, Mats Sundin, Mikael Tellqvist, Nik Antropov, Aki Berg and Tomas Kaberle will take part in the 2006 Olympics representing their respective countries.
Direct Energy, PokerRoom.tv, Molson, Diageo and the Toronto Sun serve as sponsors for this year's event.
The Toronto Maple Leafs Have a Heart Dinner is an initiative of the Leafs Fund, which is committed to improving the lives of children and youth by providing access to sports and recreation opportunities that encourage health and wellness in our community. The Leafs Fund raises and disperses more than $1 million each season in support of children's charities.