Maple Leaf's Matt Stajan "drops the puck" to mark the start of the annual fundraising campaign

Mississauga – Toronto Maple Leafs’ #14, Matt Stajan, has “dropped the puck” to mark the start of Peel Children’s Centre’s annual fundraising campaign, “It’s About HOPE.”

Stajan, who grew up in Peel, is proud to be this year’s fundraising champion for Peel Children’s Centre, a charitable community agency that provides treatment for children, youth and their families who are experiencing serious emotional difficulties.

“As a child, I dared to dream of becoming a professional hockey player. With strong support from my family and the Peel community, I achieved my goal,” Stajan said.  “Now I want to give back to my community by helping kids overcome their mental health challenges so they can make their own dreams come true.”

More than 21,000 businesses and individuals across Peel Region have received a letter from Stajan asking them to support Peel Children’s Centre’s work on behalf of children with serious mental health challenges such as aggressive or defiant behaviour, depression, anxiety, learning disorders, and hurting themselves.  One in five children has a mental health disorder.

“Children’s mental health problems affect the whole community.  Without the treatment they need, children with these challenges can disrupt classes, bully others, vandalize property, and abuse drugs,” said Stajan.  “But the good news is that Peel Children’s Centre is here to help and achieves great results with children and youth.  With a 21-year record of success, the Centre has helped thousands of young people celebrate success and hope.”

Peel Children’s Centre relies heavily on fundraising to deliver high quality mental health services because its funding from the Ontario government has not kept pace with rapid growth in Peel’s population.  A recent audit by PricewaterhouseCoopers found that in 2004, children’s services in the Greater Toronto Area’s 905 regions – including Peel – received $347 per capita less than the provincial average of $594 per child.

“Please join me in supporting the critical work of Peel Children’s Centre,” Stajan said.  “Support our home community and give the children and youth of Peel HOPE for a brighter future.”

From:  Peel Children’s Centre — Marla Bloomfield, Development Coordinator
Ph:  905-795-3500 Ext. 2298

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