"August 14 - (Toronto) -- In an effort to show the city of Toronto's appreciation toward its healthcare workers, the Toronto Raptors, Maple Leafs, Blue Jays and Argonauts announced Wednesday the production of a 60-second public service announcement entitled Real Heroes.
As major tourist attractions and representatives of the city, the four professional sports clubs came together to join the citizens in an outpouring of appreciation to healthcare providers involved in the fight against SARS.
"The heroics of Toronto's athletes are well documented and play a significant part in the spirit of this city," said Toronto Mayor Mel Lastman. "Toronto has other heroes, too. We have healthcare workers, emergency medical services personnel, doctors and nurses and support staff. They helped the people of this city get through the crisis that faced Toronto earlier this year - for their professionalism and their courage in the face of adversity we are truly thankful."
The project was made possible through the assistance of the Mayor's Office, the Mayor's Toronto - You Belong Here Recovery Task Force and the Alliance Hospitals of Toronto. The video was created by Raptors NBA TV with videographers and producers volunteering their time to the cause. The final project will be distributed to the media and hospitals throughout the city.
Four of the city's most influential sports personalities expressed their appreciation to the nurses, doctors and healthcare workers of Toronto. Argonauts Head Coach Mike "Pinball" Clemons, Blue Jays first baseman Carlos Delgado, Leafs forward Gary Roberts and Raptors guard/forward Vince Carter participated in the video.
"Our city is grateful to the many nurses, doctors, and health workers that worked tirelessly in a time of great need. These professionals are true role models that we should all be proud of," said Maple Leafs assistant captain Gary Roberts.
Raptors guard/forward Vince Carter donated 1,000 tickets for his charity All-Star Game to healthcare workers across the city. The game took place August 1 at Air Canada Centre and has been the only NBA-sanctioned charity game to have sold out in its first three years of existence. The game was aired live by Raptors NBA TV and shown in 29 countries around the world, broadcasting the news that Toronto is back in business.
"Toronto is a great city and the many doctors, nurses and healthcare practitioners have helped keep its spirit alive," said Carter. "Their heroic efforts have made this city proud."
Following the launch of the public service announcement at Sunnybrook & Women's, Raptors play-by-play voice Chuck Swirsky, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd. President and CEO Richard Peddie and Argonauts Head Coach Michael "Pinball" Clemons visited the healthcare staff of the trauma and critical care units of the hospital.