Lindt and Hilton Tree of Hope

Lindt and Hilton Tree of Hope

November 15, 2007 19:00 ET

Lindt and Hilton Tree of Hope: A Tree Glows in Toronto

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 15, 2007) -

ATTENTION: CITY, TRAVEL AND ENTERTAINMENT EDITORS

Hope beams radiantly over Toronto from atop the LINDT AND HILTON TREE OF HOPE - an annual fundraising program benefiting SickKids Foundation. Serenaded by the Canadian Children's Opera Chorus under Artistic Director Ann Cooper Gay and featuring pianist Gergely Szokolay and host Kim Stockwood, 2-year-old SickKids Foundation ambassador Ethan helped The National Ballet's Sugar Plum Fairy (Sonia Rodriguez) illuminate the tree, which is crowned by a figure of Elpis, the Greek goddess of hope, designed by Mag Ruffman (Road to Avonlea, ToolGirl).

Hilton Toronto General Manager Armin Schroecker said, "Like this tree, we all have the power to spread goodwill this holiday season, to be an example of the spirit of giving ... and ultimately offer comfort to someone else."

"Lindt is proud to continue inspiring this tradition of giving," Lindt CEO Rudi Blatter added. "Like many traditions, The Tree of Hope program gives not only Toronto's citizens but also its businesses a new way to gather together and feel part of a community."

"Thank you to Lindt and Hilton Toronto for sharing our vision and hope for Healthier Children. A Better World. As much as this tree represents hope over the holiday season, SickKids represents hope for children and families all year long," said Sandra Palmaro, Vice President, SickKids Foundation.

The launch event featured a creativity centre, where children designed their own version of the Tree of Hope. On hand to assist the kids were Toronto Argonauts' Offensive Guards Taylor Robertson and Brian Ramsay, Defensive End Ronald Flemons and Offensive Tackle Glenn January. The resulting artwork will be on display in Adelaide Place and the PATH during the holiday season.

Also on hand at the event was the legendary Cabbagetown Santa, portrayed by Alex Punyi since 1994, when he assumed the role after the passing of his father in law, Tom Crewe Sr. The Cabbagetown Santa attends the annual kid's St. Cyril's Church Christmas party and hands out gifts to 500 children in the Regent Park area-gifts collected at the annual Crewe Christmas Toy Dance, a tradition started by Tom Crewe Sr. over 60 years ago, but continued by his son, Tom Crewe Jr.

Lindt and Hilton Toronto hope to surpass last year's total of $26,000 through innovative ways to donate, from bidding on two luxury travel packages on www.sickkidsauctions.com to indulging in chocolate-infused desserts and cocktails at the Hilton Toronto or enjoying the Hilton Buffet Breakfast. In addition, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of select products at the three Lindt boutiques in the GTA will also be donated, as well as from the sale of Lindt Ornaments and Advent Calendars in the Hilton Toronto lobby. In addition, $2 from every special feature dessert ordered by groups celebrating the holidays at Hilton Toronto will be donated.

This year's 50-foot tree pays tribute to patients and staff of Hospital for Sick Children. SickKids 266 patients are represented by 266 strings of light, bearing 7,000 light bulbs-one for each full-time staff member. Meanwhile, 1,200 bows sparkle amongst the boughs to represent the funded research projects at SickKids. The tree will be on display until January 6, which will also be the final day of the fundraising campaign.

LINDT

Lindt & Sprungli (Canada), Inc. is a division of Lindt & Sprungli, Switzerland. Purveyors of internationally renowned gourmet chocolate, Lindt produces a complete range of popular premium quality chocolate products, including the major brands Lindor, Excellence, Gold Bunny & Swiss Classic. An independent Swiss company established in 1845, Lindt is known for its exacting standards and innovation. For over 160 years, they have developed and refined their unique secret recipes with absolute devotion, starting with selecting the finest raw materials and highest quality ingredients, and culminating in their final exquisite creations.

HILTON TORONTO

Located in the heart of the city, Hilton Toronto has been welcoming visitors to Toronto for 19 years. Situated in close proximity not only to the city's bustling financial district but also its vibrant entertainment centre, Hilton Toronto provides the best vantage point to experience Toronto's many attractions. Hilton Toronto's elite hospitality team meets guests' highest standards of style and comfort with quintessentially Canadian decor and amenities, while its signature restaurant TUNDRA (CAA/AAA Four Diamond rating) defines industry standards for excellence and innovation in Canadian cuisine. For more information: www.toronto.com/hilton.

To view a photo of the Lindt and Hilton Tree of Hope, please visit the following link: http://images.barryroden.com/hilton/t/d1153.jpg

Contact Information

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