Monday, May 07, 2012

Funds to Support Children’s Charities & Olympic Athletes
TORONTO: May 7, 2012 – The Toronto International Boat Show announced today that its Special Preview Night, held January 13, 2012, raised $24,615 for children’s charities and – in celebration of the London 2012 Olympic Games – for Canada’s Boating Olympic Athletes.

“It‘s an honour to host an event that consistently offers overwhelming support to initiatives that are so close to the hearts of the boating community,” says Show Manager Cynthia Hare. “With strong backing from our 550 exhibitors and boating enthusiasts, the Special Preview Night has proven to be a popular means of kicking off the nine-day boat show. In addition to raising funds, it’s by far the best opportunity to see the show without the crowds.”

Over the course of 11 years, the Toronto International Boat Show’s Special Preview Night has raised more than $585,000 for its chosen charities and causes.

Included in admission, Special Preview Night attendees enjoyed live entertainment, an assortment of catered food and beverage stations located throughout the show floor, and a unique shopping experience – plus the option of bidding on more than 100 silent and live auction items. This year’s bidding showpiece was a Chaparral H2O 18 Sport Boat donated by Pride Marine Group, a generous supporter of Special Preview Night since its inception. In partnership with Chaparral and Mercury Marine, it came packaged with a MerCruiser engine and trailer.

Ongoing Beneficiaries of Special Preview Night include:
 Toronto Star Fresh Air Fund: Since 1901, the Toronto Star Fresh Air Fund has given thousands of underprivileged children a much-needed break from the city, and a chance to experience the wonders of camp.
 Ontario Sailing: Able Sail, Access BOOM Program: A mobile sailing school, Access BOOM brings sailing into the lives of children and youth with disabilities.

“The Toronto Star Fresh Air Fund is very grateful for the jumpstart to our fundraising campaign which launches at the end of May,” says Barb Mrozek, Director, Charities and Philanthropy at the Toronto Star. “It’s wonderful to have such a longstanding partner show their commitment and support to helping us achieve our goal of improving kids’ lives in the city of Toronto by providing children with a wonderful summer camp experience.”

Glenn Lethbridge, Executive Director of the Ontario Sailing Association, is also appreciative of the funds they received. “The great thing about the Able Sail and Access BOOM Program is that it allows children and youth with disabilities to get out and enjoy the water,” says Lethbridge, “but at the same time it’s also expensive, as there are smaller classes, specialized boats, and training involved.”

NEW this year: In celebration of the upcoming London 2012 Olympic Games, proceeds are also going to support our Canadian boating athletes:
 Rowing Canada Aviron: A nonprofit organization recognized by the Government of Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee as the national governing body for the sport of rowing in Canada.
 Canadian Yachting Association: The national governing body for the sport of sailing in Canada.

“Special Preview Night was a great opportunity to showcase sailing in an Olympic year,” says Todd Irving, Board Member at the Canadian Yachting Association. “We appreciate the Toronto Boat Show raising awareness of the athletes, and helping to fund the last-minute preparations and coaching necessary to ensure the competitors optimize their performance at the Games.”

Olympic rowers are also very serious about representing Canada at the Olympic Games, notes ’92 Olympic Gold medallist Mike Forgeron, who was on hand to meet boaters at this year’s Special Preview Night. “While funding is always a big help, having the recognition and support from the community is really what resonates with competitors as they gear up for the event,” says Forgeron. “We are very grateful that the Toronto Boat Show Special Preview Night was supportive of Rowing Canada Aviron.”

The 2013 Toronto International Boat Show runs January 12 to 20 at the Direct Energy Centre, Exhibition Place.
Recreational boating annually represents more than $26 billion in economic impact to Canada, with more than 52 percent of all Canadian boaters living in Ontario. Each year generating more than $354 million in economic impact to the region, during the last five years the Toronto International Boat Show has annually attracted more than 550 exhibitors and an average attendance of 75,000 visitors.

About the Toronto International Boat Show
More boats are purchased at the Toronto International Boat Show than any other place or event in Canada. Owned and produced by Canadian Boat Shows, and celebrating 54 years as one of the preeminent selling venues for the recreational boating industry, it is one of the largest consumer boat shows in North America.

Media Contact:
Vanessa Andres