World Vision Canada

World Vision Canada

January 30, 2007 07:00 ET

Newmarket Declares February 2 Youth Aid Day as 70 Students Entertain for World Vision Fundraiser

NEWMARKET, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Jan. 30, 2007) - A passionate speech by 15-year-old Sacred Heart student Alex O'Brien of Newmarket has snowballed into a movement to raise funds to support World Vision education projects in Mali and Senegal. The campaign has already raised almost $20,000, culminating in a benefit concert on February 2 featuring a Juno-nominated musician, award-winning dancers, bands, karate demos and Honourary Chair Belinda Stronach.

"The time to change is here and now. It's time we turn words into actions," said O'Brien in a speech to her Grade 10 English class last year. "We can now start to work together as a society to truly make a difference. Nothing is impossible." Today Alex, along with students from four other schools, volunteers and corporate sponsors, are busy managing a major campaign that is far exceeding their initial expectations.

The funds they raise will be supporting a World Vision project to build 24 classrooms in Mali and rebuild a classroom in Senegal. The United Nations Development Programme ranks Mali as the world's third poorest country. Only 20 per cent of children in the rural communities of Mali attend school and the youth illiteracy rate is 76 per cent. The project to which Youth Aid will contribute will also provide 897 desks and tables for both the new and existing classrooms.


- Newmarket has declared February 2 Youth Aid Day.

- Juno-nominated artist Glenn Marais will perform at the benefit, including his song Like a Child about children orphaned by AIDS in Africa.

- Belinda Stronach, MP for Newmarket-Aurora, endorses the campaign and benefit concert as honourary chair.

- Special guests will include Dave Toycen, president of World Vision, and
Tony Van Bynen, mayor of Newmarket.

- Corporate sponsors include Olympus Canada.

The Concert:
WHEN: Friday February 2, 2007 at 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Newmarket Theatre
505 Pickering Crescent (Leslie & Mulcock)
Newmarket, Ont. L3Y 8H1
TICKETS: $20 (available at 905-868-6639 or

World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. Motivated by our Christian faith, we serve all people regardless of religion, race, gender or ethnicity. For more information, please visit

Contact Information

  • For more information, to arrange interviews,
    or to cover the event, contact:
    World Vision Canada, Tiffany Baggetta
    (905) 565-6200 ext. 2485
    (905) 464-7057 (cell)