(February 28, 2004) -- Leafs fans will be walking their own red carpet Sunday night at the first annual Siemens Maple Leaf Gala, an event organized by the Toronto Maple Leafs and Go Kids Go! The Leafs Fund.
With the entire team and coaching staff in attendance, the goal of the Gala is to raise money for Go Kids Go! The Leafs Fund grantees, while giving attendees a chance to spend time with their favourite Leafs players.
"The Siemens Maple Leaf Gala is the only night of the year when the entire Leafs team - players, coaches and managers - and their wives and partners, are together in one place," said Ken Dryden, vice-chairman of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd. "It's an evening where fans will have an opportunity to talk to the Leafs, share dinner and feel part of the spirit of what makes the Leafs team so special."
Dryden added that the money raised from the Gala will benefit Covenant House, The Stop, Ground Level Youth Ventures and Sketch - four charities that make Toronto a better place for youth.
The Carlu will serve as the backdrop for the Gala, which will be hosted by Joe Bowen, voice of the Toronto Maple Leafs and actor Albert Schultz. Dining will not be the only activity of the night, guests will have an opportunity to participate in a silent auction and even add their stroke of brilliance to some unique Maple Leaf artwork creations.
An impressive line-up of some of Canada's most well-known musicians from various genres has been recruited for the event. The musical line-up includes Gord Downie and Paul Langlois of The Tragically Hip, Ryan Malcolm, winner of Canadian Idol; singer Michael Burgess, jazz musician Denzal Sinclaire and Jim Cuddy from Blue Rodeo.
Go! Kids Go! The Leafs Fund is the charitable fundraising arm of the Toronto Maple Leafs and is committed to supporting children's charities and important community initiatives throughout Toronto. Each year, Go Kids Go! The Leafs Fund raises more than $1.5 million in support of local charities.