(April 5, 2005) -- The Toronto Marlies announced Tuesday their first community relations partnership with the Canadian Safe School Network (CSSN). In conjunction with this partnership the two organizations launched an anti-bullying campaign at Ricoh Coliseum, future home of the Toronto Marlies, which will anchor the team's community programs starting next season.
The launch included St. John's Maple Leafs players Nathan Perrott and Carlo Colaiacovo speaking to a group of Grade 4 students from St. Pius X Catholic School about their personal experiences with childhood bullying.
"The Canadian Safe School Network is an outstanding organization that has accomplished a great deal to support anti-bullying and a safer school environment," said John Lashway, vice-president of communications and community development at Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. "We're thrilled to be launching our first community partnership with CSSN. It's a relationship that will prove to be very valuable in promoting a more healthy school environment."
Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, the owner of the Marlies, has a long standing relationship with CSSN and supporting the organization's programs with its many high-profile athletes.
"We're very pleased to partner with the Toronto Marlies," said Stu Auty, president of the Canadian Safe School Network. "With many students looking to athletes as their role models, the Marlies will help get our message out to more students."
The Marlies also announced that the team's first exhibition game in Toronto will support the work of the Canadian Safe School Network. Taking place on Tuesday, October 4, 2005, tickets for the exhibition game will be offered to GTA schools and it will be used as a vehicle to educate and communicate anti-bullying messages to elementary level students with Marlies players supporting the efforts through scoreboard messages and presentations.
Founded in 1997, the CSSN is a national, charitable organization dedicated to reducing youth violence and making schools and communities safer.
The St. John's Maple Leafs will relocate to Toronto at the start of the 2005-06 at which time the team will be officially known as the Toronto Marlies.