Pizza Pizza

October 21, 2009 12:40 ET

Pizza Pizza Sends Mascots to Deliver Pizzas-and Smiles-to Children as Part of Slices for Smiles Fundraiser

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 21, 2009) -

Editors Note: A photo for this release will be available via Marketwire on the picture wire of The Canadian Press.

Four mascots from Toronto-based sports franchises joined patients of Toronto's SickKids Hospital today for an obstacle course and pizza party in support of Slices for Smiles, a week-long fundraiser currently underway at Pizza Pizza that raises money for children's hospitals across the country. A portion of the famed hospital's atrium was transformed into a fun obstacle course, allowing the mascots to face off in a series of entertaining challenges and engage some of the patients who benefit from the program developed by Pizza Pizza to celebrate National Pizza Month and support Children's Miracle Network. The mascots included The Raptor, Carlton the Bear, Jason the Argo and Duke the dog from the Toronto Marlies, as well as Pizza Pizza's mascot, Dough Dude.

"Pizza, games, furry friends and life-saving medical facilities and services – we could not think of a better way to show our affection to these children and their families," said Pat Finelli, chief marketing officer at Pizza Pizza. "Thanks to Children's Miracle Network, hospitals like SickKids, and our employees and customers, we're able to celebrate with these children and urge others to support our cause."

To date, in less than two years, Pizza Pizza has donated more than $200,000 to Children's Miracle Network through the Slices for Smiles Fund.

"These funds are critical as they are directed to the most urgent needs of a children's hospital," said John Hartman, chief international officer at Children's Miracle Network. "While the financial support is great and represents the core of the program, we're delighted by the company's commitment to having fun with our hospital foundations and the children they treat."

Pizza Pizza and its Alberta-based sister chain Pizza 73 are holding a variety of local events across the country this week to raise awareness for Slices for Smiles, which started on Monday, October 19 and ends on Sunday, October 25. A portion of the proceeds from select menu items and coin donation boxes in both chains will go to helping provide leading edge technology, research and care at participating children's hospitals.

"Community and children are of utmost importance to us," said Finelli. "There's no better way to celebrate National Pizza Month than to leverage the draw of pizza to help Canadian children, while offering a nice promotion to our loyal customers."

Also in attendance was World Champion pizza spinner Juan Hermosillo, who recently returned to Canada and was able to entertain kids with his unique talent. Contestants in the obstacle course had to spin dough, make a pizza, dress like a delivery person and deliver their pizza on a paddle.

About Children's Miracle Network

Children's Miracle Network is an international non-profit organization dedicated to saving and improving the lives of children by raising funds for children's hospitals. Each year, over 170 Children's Miracle Network hospitals – 14 of which are in Canada – provide the finest medical care, life-saving research and preventive education to help millions of kids overcome diseases and injuries of every kind. To learn more, go to: www.childrensmiraclenetwork.ca.

About Pizza Pizza Limited

Founded in 1967, Pizza Pizza Limited is an industry pioneer and the number one pizza chain in the Canadian Quick Service Restaurant industry according to sales and restaurant locations. With its Pizza Pizza and Pizza 73 banners and an extended team comprising more than 3,000 people, the company plays an active role in the communities it serves through fundraisers, donations and local sponsorships at the corporate and franchise levels. The company is guided by a mission to provide the "best food, made especially for you" and a focus on quality ingredients, customer service, community contribution and continual innovation. Some of the innovations developed or expanded upon include: insulated delivery bags (1967), a one number system (1967), 11-11 telephone jingle (1975), double-decker pizza boxes (1985) and gluten-free dough (2008). Visit www.pizzapizza.ca/history for more information.

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