MLSE To Help Salvation Army Launch Annual Christmas Kettle Campaign

The Toronto Raptors and Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) will ring in the holiday season with the launch of The Salvation Army’s annual Christmas Kettle Campaign on Friday, November 30 when the Raptors host the Phoenix Suns at Air Canada Centre. The Salvation Army Christmas Kettle Awareness Night is part of this season’s campaign in which fans attending Raptors games are encouraged to donate toys. Though toys for youth of all ages will be appreciated, this year there is a special need for toys for tweens. Starting Sunday, November 25 and running through December 21, donations can be dropped off at all gates during all Raptors games at Air Canada Centre.

The November 30 awareness night will feature a range of activities starting with The Salvation Army Christmas Brass Ensemble serenading fans entering Air Canada Centre accompanied by Christmas Kettles and Bell Ringers. Prior to tip-off, The Salvation Army North York Temple Brass Band consisting of 10 musicians will play the American and Canadian National anthems on court.

MLSE’s participation in the Kettle Campaign will extend beyond Air Canada Centre, as the Leafs Mobile Fan Zone, Leafs alumni and team mascots will participate in the official Salvation Army Christmas In The Square event at Dundas Square on November 30 at 6 p.m.. Later in December, MLSE staff will participate in bell-ringing and donation collections at the Eaton Centre, as well as assisting with the sorting of donated toys at the Salvation Army’s warehouse.

Bell ringing by hosts of Salvation Army Christmas Kettles has been a tradition for over 100 years and the sound of bells at Salvation Army Christmas Kettles represents the subtle voice of those in need at Christmas in our community. Throughout the duration of the Christmas Kettle Campaign in Toronto over 2,000 Bell Ringers will host over 350 Kettles raising money to fund our Community and Family Services programs year round. The Christmas Kettle Campaign 2012 goal is $3 million.

About the Salvation Army

The Salvation Army is an international faith-based organization that began its work in Canada in 1882 and has grown to become the largest non-governmental direct provider of social services in the country. The Salvation Army gives hope and support to vulnerable people today and everyday in 400 communities across Canada and more than 120 countries around the world. The Salvation Army offers practical assistance for children and families, often tending to the basic necessities of life, providing shelter for homeless people and rehabilitation for people who have lost control of their lives to an addiction. When you give to The Salvation Army, you are investing in the future of marginalized and overlooked people in your community. News releases, articles and updated information can be found at SalvationArmy.ca

About Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE)

MLSE, one of the world’s premier sports and entertainment companies, owns the Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL), the Toronto Raptors (NBA), the Toronto Marlies (AHL), Toronto FC (MLS), Air Canada Centre, Maple Leaf Square and three digital channels – Leafs TV, NBA TV Canada and GOLTV Canada and has a partnership with Live Nation – the biggest concert promoter in the world. MLSE has also invested in five of Toronto’s sports facilities – Ricoh Coliseum, home of the Marlies, BMO Field, home of Toronto FC, Lamport Stadium, KIA Training Grounds at Downsview Park, home of Toronto FC’s Academy and the First Team’s practice facility, and the MasterCard Centre for Hockey Excellence, the practice facility for the Maple Leafs and Marlies. MLSE operates and manages events at Ricoh Coliseum and BMO Field