Spread The Net

Spread The Net

September 13, 2007 13:19 ET

Belinda Stronach and Rick Mercer Launch National Spread the Net Campus Challenge: Winning Campus to Be Featured in the Rick Mercer Report

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 13, 2007) - Charity balls, clothes swaps, loonie drives, sports games, faculty challenges and more - university students across Canada will be finding ways to take the Spread the Net Campus Challenge. Today, Belinda Stronach and Rick Mercer, co-founders of the anti-malaria fundraising initiative Spread the Net, challenged university campuses across Canada to raise funds to buy bed nets to help protect children in Africa from their number one killer - malaria. The university that raises the most money will be featured in the Rick Mercer Report.

"We have hundreds of thousands of bright, energetic university students here in Canada," said Belinda Stronach. "We're challenging Canadian university students to help Spread the Net and its partner UNICEF Canada to stop the spread of malaria to children in Africa. Malaria is a tragic pandemic in Africa that is killing children at a catastrophic rate. We hope students across the country will take the Campus Challenge and join Spread the Net. One net. Ten bucks. Save lives. It's that simple."

The Campus Challenge will run from September 13th, 2007 through December 31st, 2007, encouraging university students across Canada to organize events, mobilize their friends and family and hold fundraisers to save children's lives in Liberia and Rwanda. The Campus Challenge was launched today at the University of Ottawa - the first campus to take on the challenge.

"Students are creative, enthusiastic and know how to have fun while raising money for something as important as bed nets that can save lives", said Rick Mercer, co-founder of Spread the Net. "And we know students like a challenge - especially when it comes to beating their university rivals! We look forward to the results!"

"The students at uOttawa have a strong commitment to philanthropy. We're proud to be the first university in Canada to take up the Spread the Net Campus Challenge," said Pam Hrick, President, Student Federation of the University of Ottawa. "When we heard about Spread the Net, we knew that the student body would get behind the cause. We have over 30,000 students on our campus. If everyone bought a net, we would be helping to save a lot of children's lives."

"Student support for global initiatives has always been strong in Canada," said Nigel Fisher, President, UNICEF Canada. "With the Spread the Net Campus Challenge, in partnership with UNICEF Canada, students can have fun and be creative in fundraising, while making a concrete contribution to helping children in Africa go to sleep protected under a bed net at night."

Spread the Net is a grassroots campaign co-founded by Belinda Stronach and Rick Mercer in partnership with UNICEF Canada to raise funds to buy 500,000 anti-malarial mosquito bed nets at $10 each to distribute free of charge to children in Liberia and Rwanda over the next two years. Malaria is the largest killer of children under five in Africa, with 3,000 children dying daily of the disease - one million every year. One insecticide treated bed net can protect a child for up to five years.

Donations to Spread the Net can be made at www.spreadthenet.org.

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