SOURCE: Boston Pizza

May 06, 2014 09:29 ET

Boston Pizza Foundation Future Prospects Partners With Rick Hansen Foundation

Both Organizations Share the Common Goal of Inspiring the Next Generation to Make a Difference

RICHMOND, BC--(Marketwired - May 06, 2014) -  Boston Pizza Foundation (BPF) Future Prospects announced today a commitment of $1 million over five years to the Rick Hansen Foundation. Funding from BPF Future Prospects supports the Rick Hansen School Program, a national initiative that inspires, empowers and engages children to make a difference in their local communities and build awareness of the importance of accessibility and inclusion.

"Boston Pizza Foundation Future Prospects has partnered with the Rick Hansen Foundation because of the incredible people and the shared values between our two organizations," said Cheryl Treliving, Executive Director, BPF Future Prospects. "The Rick Hansen School Program helps to create inclusive and accepting communities and a more accepting and caring world for all. At BPF Future Prospects we believe strong role models inspire kids to be great and we partner with organizations that help youth be all they can be at home, school, their community and the world."

The Rick Hansen School Program provides free resources to elementary and secondary schools across Canada. Through engaging activities, videos and speakers, students can learn to respect difference and to discover that they can make the world a better place for everyone. The new partnership furthers BPF Future Prospects' mission to give back in a real and tangible way by inspiring the next generation of leaders to understand the importance and value they have and their ability to make a difference through leadership, acceptance and inclusion.

"We are honoured to be Boston Pizza Foundation Future Prospects' newest partner. We have an amazing opportunity to create positive change, to inspire youth to make a difference and never give up on their dreams. This partnership will help us reach more schools across Canada to build awareness of accessibility and inclusivity, and encourage youth to get involved in their local communities," said Rick Hansen, CEO of the Rick Hansen Foundation.

On April 29, Hansen spoke to Boston Pizza franchisees and employees about the importance of community and the impact his community had on his life. His speech was one of the many highlights of the company's annual conference and provided inspiration to attendees to continue their commitment to helping their local communities through BPF Future Prospects.

"Growing up, my teachers and role models helped build my confidence, and encouraged me to make a difference. Today, with Boston Pizza's help, we can return that generosity; to teach youth to reach for their dreams and realize that they can make a positive change in the world. Youth are not only our future, they are our today," said Hansen.

About Boston Pizza Foundation Future Prospects

Boston Pizza Foundation Future Prospects was established in 2014 to raise funds and awareness for organizations that provide kids in Canada with role models and mentoring programs. BPF Future Prospects is proud to partner with Big Brothers Big Sisters, Kids Help Phone, Live Different, JDRF and the Rick Hansen Foundation. Since its inception in 1990, the Boston Pizza Foundation has raised and donated more than $18 million to directly improve the health and well-being of children and families.

About the Rick Hansen Foundation

Since its establishment in 1988, the Rick Hansen Foundation has funded research to provide better care and outcomes for those who sustain a spinal cord injury, and contributed to improving accessibility for people with disabilities. The Rick Hansen School Program provides free resources to over 2,500 schools across Canada to inspire and empower students to create positive change and to make their communities more inclusive and accessible. For more information, visit www.rickhansen.com.

About Boston Pizza

Boston Pizza International Inc. is Canada's No. 1 casual dining brand with more than 350 restaurants in Canada. In 2014 Boston Pizza celebrates 50 great years since opening our first location in Edmonton, Alberta in 1964. Annually, Boston Pizza serves more than 40 million guests. The company has been recognized as a Platinum Member of Canada's 50 Best Managed Companies. Boston Pizza believes that strong role models inspire kids to be great, and in 2014, the Boston Pizza Foundation created Future Prospects to help support organizations that mentor kids to reach their full potential. Boston Pizza International Inc. is located in Richmond, B.C. and has regional offices in Mississauga, Ontario and Laval, Quebec. For more information visit www.bostonpizza.com.

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