Pizza Pizza Limited

Pizza Pizza Limited

February 26, 2008 07:00 ET

Pizza Pizza: Flamboyant Neckties Raise Funds and Rekindle the Memory of Hockey Hall of Famer Roger Neilson

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 26, 2008) - It was a ceremony that would have made the late Hockey Hall of Fame coach Roger Neilson's face blush in the colours of the flashy and flamboyant neckties he sported behind the bench.

The scene occurred during the Sens Foundation's Telethon for Roger's House on Monday night with the unveiling of a magnificent quilt in Neilson's likeness, crafted from hundreds of vivid neckties donated by Neilson's former hockey colleagues. Along with the quilt unveiling, Pizza Pizza, which co-initiated the Ties That Bond campaign in partnership with the Sens Foundation, presented a donation of $5,000 to the Foundation to be directed to Roger's House, a pediatric palliative and respite care facility that bears Neilson's name.

More than 100 players, coaches and management, from fellow Hall of Famers Jean Beliveau, Stan Mikita and Mike Gartner to such current stars as Daniel Alfredsson, Joe Sakic and Peter Forsberg, donated autographed neckties to the campaign. Some of the ties collected were sold at a charity auction in Neilson's memory last August, a date that coincided with the fourth anniversary of his passing, following a long and courageous battle with cancer.

Along with the ties donated by NHLers, 39 Pizza Pizza restaurants in the Ottawa area collected colourful, gently used neckties from fans. The ties were subsequently turned over to internationally renowned quilter, Margaret Dunsmore, of the Ottawa region, to produce a quilt in the image of Neilson. The quilt will be permanently displayed at Roger's House.

The $5,000 donation by Pizza Pizza represented the company's own contribution, as well as the proceeds from the online auction and money raised through donation-box contributions in the Ottawa region.

"The response from Roger's friends and colleagues in the NHL fraternity to the Ties That Bond campaign was outstanding, as was the involvement by the general public," said Tina Kalogeropoulos, Marketing Manager for Pizza Pizza who made the cheque presentation. "Roger made a tremendous impact, not only as a hockey mentor but also as a humanitarian, and the reaction to the campaign is a testament to the respect and esteem in which he is held."

Dave Ready, the president of the Sens Foundation, said the unique Ties That Bond campaign was a wonderful way to maintain Neilson's legacy and provide support and comfort to children and families benefiting from the care and services offered at Roger's House.

"In partnering with Pizza Pizza on the Ties That Bond campaign, we wanted to do something that would evoke some of the memories people had when they thought of Roger, remarked Mr. Ready. "Along with remembering him as a warm and caring person, many people also had this image of him wearing the loudest, most vivid neckties you can imagine. We're delighted that the Ties That Bond campaign allowed Roger's spirit to live on and contributed to a cause that is certainly dear to his heart."

About Pizza Pizza Limited

Pizza Pizza Limited, a privately-held Canadian corporation, is one of Canada's most successful operators in the QSR industry. It operates franchised, jointly-controlled and corporate restaurants under the brand names Pizza Pizza and Pizza 73. The Pizza Pizza brand celebrated its 40th anniversary last year and dominates the Ontario pizza QSR. The Pizza 73 brand is celebrating its 22nd anniversary and was recently awarded the distinction of being named one of Canada's "50 Best Managed" companies for 2006. Pizza Pizza Limited 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, especially in offering health-conscious menu choices.

About the Sens Foundation

Founded in 1998, the Sens Foundation utilizes the unique resources of the Ottawa Senators Hockey Club to make a positive and lasting difference in the lives of children and youth in the eastern Ontario and western Quebec. The mission of the Sens Foundation is to leverage and provide both financial and in-kind support to registered charitable organizations whose programs focus on improving the quality of life for children and youth. We address needs in the areas of education, health, and recreation. Our vision at the Foundation is "for greater goals" in meeting these needs.

The Sens Foundation is largely supported through event fundraising, corporate partnerships, and private donors. Since inception, the Sens Foundation, together with the Ottawa Senators Hockey Club, alumni, corporate partners, and fans have raised and dedicated more than $50 million in support to a variety of community initiatives.

The charity of choice of the Sens Foundation is Roger's House.

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