Oakville, Ontario – The holiday season is upon us and nowhere is the joy of giving more evident than in the more than 600 LCBO stores hosting the annual Joy of Giving Back campaign for MADD Canada and four Ontario Children’s Hospitals.

From now until December 31st, LCBO customer service representatives will invite patrons to add a $2, $5 or $10 donation to their purchase to benefit MADD Canada and four regional children’s hospitals: Children’s Health Foundation, McMaster Children’s Hospital Foundation, SickKids Foundation and Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) Foundation. Donation boxes for MADD Canada will be also displayed at LCBO checkout counters until December 31st.

The campaign raises about $2 million for MADD Canada each year. The funds are used to support the production and delivery of programs that educate youth about the dangers of mixing alcohol and/or drugs and driving, including: the School Assembly Program, a film and in-class curriculum delivered to students in Grades 7 – 12; and SmartWheels, a mobile classroom that visits schools around the province to educate students in Grades 4 – 6. The funds also contribute to victim outreach and support services for Ontario residents who have been affected by impaired driving.

“The impact of this campaign is felt deep in the hearts and homes of the local communities we serve, and I am incredibly proud of our staff and thankful to our customers for their generosity each and every year,” said George Soleas, President and CEO of LCBO. “It’s because of their hard work and commitment that we are able to make a difference in the lives of our family members, friends and neighbours who rely on these vital organizations.”

Young people are over-represented in impaired driving crashes. In fact, half of all fatal roads crashes involving teens and young adults involve alcohol and/or drugs. Through youth education programs such as SmartWheels and the School Assembly Program, MADD Canada can engage young people in a conversation before they begin driving or are faced with decisions about drug or alcohol use, and continue the conversation right through high school.

Thanks to the leadership of LCBO, the enthusiasm of its staff and the tremendous generosity of its customers, approximately 1,300 presentations of the School Assembly Program and 500 SmartWheels presentations are delivered each year, at absolutely no cost to students or schools.

“Reaching young people early and educating them about the dangers of driving impaired is crucial to helping them develop safe and sober driving habits that they will carry into adulthood,” said MADD Canada National President Patricia Hynes-Coates. “LCBO’s Joy of Giving Back campaign is absolutely essential to that effort. We are so grateful to every customer who donates, to every LCBO staff person who promotes the campaign and to the LCBO for its ongoing partnership and commitment to protecting young people from impaired driving.”

MADD Canada thanks the public for its support when shopping at the LCBO from November 26 – December 31.

For more information:

Deb Kelly, MADD Canada Communications Manager – 905 829-8805, ext. 240 or dkelly@madd.ca LCBO Press Office – 416-864-6700 or pressoffice@lcbo.com