Long-distance Marketing: Tim Hortons Franchisees in New Brunswick Sponsor Toronto Fundraiser in Support of Bloorview Kids Foundation
Toronto, ON, September 18, 2009
Jim and Chris Andrew, Tim Hortons franchisees in the small town of Sussex, New Brunswick, have signed on for a second time as a presenting sponsor of the Laughs for Possibility Comedy Fundraiser in support of Bloorview Kids Rehab, even though the event they are sponsoring is about 1,500 km away, in Toronto. The business decision to sponsor a fundraising event usually involves an expectation of a certain return on investment for the company involved. But what if your business is a coffee shop located a hard day’s drive from the event? Most operators wouldn’t see business sense in such a proposal. Jim and Chris, on the other hand, see it as an opportunity they can’t pass up.
“We want our business associated with this show because of the chance to help Bloorview after everything Bloorview has done for our family,” said Chris. The Andrews have a close connection to Bloorview, Canada’s largest children’s rehabilitation hospital, through their grandson Eric. In July 2008, while on vacation at his grandparents’ cottage, then 3-year-old Eric experienced a massive stroke, which, once he was healthy enough to be transferred home to Ontario, led to a lengthy course of intensive therapy at Bloorview. “We sat in on one of Eric’s physiotherapy sessions, and knew when we saw the way his therapist was working with him, that Bloorview was a very special place” said Jim of the couple’s attachment to the rehab centre.
When Eric’s father, Lloyd Ravn, an amateur comedian in Toronto, told his in-laws of his plans to produce a live comedy fundraiser for Bloorview, and that he was searching for a corporate sponsor, they jumped on board immediately. This is the second Laughs for Possibility event, following the inaugural show in January 2009 which featured some of Canada’s top comedians, and which was also sponsored by Jim and Chris. Laughs for Possibility 2 will bring out another crop of Canadian comedy superstars to raise funds to help Bloorview reach its vision of “a world of possibility for kids with disability”.
Since the January show, Eric experienced two more strokes, in May 2009 and is back at Bloorview as an inpatient in the Brain Injury Rehab Team (BIRT) wing. As doctors work to find the as yet unknown cause of Eric’s strokes, not to mention how to prevent future relapses, Jim and Chris are happy to be supporting the hospital that is helping Eric recover. “The return to us in sponsoring this show is more on a personal level than a business one,” explained Jim. “But with the hard work everyone at Bloorview is doing to get Eric back to himself, we can expect the payback from the business end when Eric is old enough to come East to work at our stores.”
Tickets for Laughs for Possibility 2 are available at www.laughsforpossibility.com and the full lineup of Canadian comedy superstars who will be helping raise funds for Bloorview’s work with Eric and thousands of other kids with special needs will be announced on the week of September 21.
Date: Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Time: VIP Reception at 7:00 PM, general admission at 7:30 PM, Show at 8:30 PM
Location: Crowne Plaza Toronto Don Valley Hotel, 1250 Eglinton Ave E, Toronto, Ontario
Tickets cost: $95 for VIP admission (includes pre-show reception); $50 for general admission
Available at www.laughsforpossibility.com
Bloorview Kids Foundation
Bloorview Kids Foundation develops relationships and raises funds from the community for Bloorview Kids Rehab. Bloorview is the gold-standard in care, research, and education for kids with disabilities and their families. As Canada’s largest children’s rehabilitation and complex continuing care teaching hospital, it is an international leader in childhood disability. Bloorview pioneers treatments, technologies, therapies and real-world programs that give children with disabilities the tools to participate fully in life.
Regardless of their disability, kids just want to be kids. Community and private investment is critical to enabling kids with disabilities to live their lives, just like any other kid.
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