Spread The Net

Spread The Net

April 25, 2007 12:00 ET

Spread the Net Announces Founding Partners CTVglobemedia, Air Canada Kids' Horizons and TAXI Canada on Africa Malaria Day

Canada's corporate leaders join the fight against malaria

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - April 25, 2007) -

Attention Assignment Editors, Business Editors, Health Editors

On the occasion of Toronto's first Africa Malaria Day, Belinda Stronach and Rick Mercer, Co-Founders of Spread the Net, today announced Spread the Net's founding partners CTVglobemedia, Air Canada Kids' Horizons and TAXI Canada Inc. Toronto Mayor David Miller today became the first Canadian mayor to join global leaders in declaring April 25th Africa Malaria Day. Africa Malaria Day is commemorated on 25 April every year as a day set aside by African governments committed to the fight against malaria. The United States and several European countries also use this day to demonstrate their solidarity, through events and activities, in fighting the deadly disease.

Spread the Net is a grassroots campaign in partnership with UNICEF Canada to raise the funds to buy 500,000 anti-malarial mosquito bed nets at $10 each for 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 insecticide treated bed net can protect up to five children for up to five years.

"We are delighted that CTVglobemedia, Air Canada Kids' Horizons and TAXI Canada have come on board as founding partners of Spread the Net," said Belinda Stronach, Co-Founder of Spread the Net. "Their generous support will help Spread the Net to educate Canadians about the extreme impact of malaria in Africa, and help us to raise funds to buy bed nets for children in Africa."

"At Air Canada, through the Kids' Horizons program, we are committed to contributing to the health of children and youth. With our employees, we want to do our part in the fight against child poverty because we strongly believe that together we can make a difference," said Steve Beisswanger, Director, Corporate Affairs of Air Canada. "Malaria is the leading cause of death in children under five in Africa - it's devastating. We are very pleased to support Spread the Net as a founding partner in the fight against malaria."

"CTVglobemedia is proud to be a founding partner of Spread the Net," said Paul Sparkes, Senior Vice-President, Corporate and Public Affairs, CTVglobemedia. "In order to make a lasting difference in Africa where malaria is now a pandemic, we all need to do more to raise awareness and raise money to stop this terrible disease."

"Our TAXI team wanted to both create and contribute to the Spread the Net campaign at the same time", said Paul Lavoie, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of TAXI Inc. "We are parents and global citizens and we were very pleased to design a simple campaign that we believe will help inspire Canadians to help protect children in Africa from contracting malaria."

Malaria is Africa's leading cause of death in children under five years old killing 3,000 children every day or one million per year. With the simple technology of insecticide-treated bed nets, transmission of the disease by night-biting mosquitoes can be reduced dramatically. At the end of 2004, fewer than five per cent of children in Sub-Saharan Africa were sleeping under an insecticide-treated net.

"It's Africa Malaria Day for a reason - malaria is the number one killer of children in Africa today and Canadians are largely unaware," said Nigel Fisher, President and CEO of UNICEF Canada. "There is no better day than today for us to applaud outstanding corporate partners like CTVglobemedia, Air Canada Kids' Horizons and TAXI Canada who will help us reach out to Canadians and encourage them to Spread the Net to beat malaria."

"Every single net and every single partner makes an important difference in the fight to protect African children from contracting malaria", said Rick Mercer, Co-Founder of Spread the Net. "One Net. 10 Bucks, Save Lives. Start today: tell your kids, tell your friends, tell your colleagues, tell your boss - the more people that know, the more kids we can help save".

Mayor David Miller was named a Spread the Net Ambassador today along with Seamus O'Regan, Co-host of CTV's Canada AM; Ray Zahab, Canadian extreme marathoner and motivational speaker; Hayley Wickenheiser, hockey superstar and Captain, Team Canada women's hockey and Glen Pearson, MP, London North Centre, African aid volunteer who has lived with malaria for more than 30 years. For more information on how Spread the Net Ambassadors will help spread the word to Canadians about contributing, visit www.spreadthenet.org.

Spread the Net is an opportunity for individuals, organizations, groups and corporate citizens to make a financial contribution - big or small - toward the purchase of insecticide-treated bed nets - critical tools in the prevention of malaria. Contributions can be made via www.spreadthenet.org; or by calling 1-800-567-4483.

CTVglobemedia is one of Canada's premier multi-media companies with ownership interests in CTV Inc. and The Globe and Mail. CTV Inc. operates 21 conventional television stations across Canada and has interests in 15 specialty channels. Other CTVglobemedia investments include: an interest in Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, which owns the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors and the Air Canada Centre; and an interest in Dome Productions, a North American leader in the provision of mobile high definition production facilities.

Kids' Horizons, Air Canada's community investments program, is all about kids. It promotes the health of children and youth, works to alleviate child poverty and grants wishes for ill or disadvantaged children. Kids' Horizons also enables employees to proudly demonstrate Air Canada's commitment to local communities. More information about Kids' Horizons is available at www.aircanada.com/kids.

TAXI Canada Inc. and TAXI Inc. are independent, wholly owned companies with core expertise in Strategic Planning, Advertising, Design, Interactive, Relationship Marketing, Media Planning and Branded Entertainment (through its division Chokolat). Founded in Montreal in 1992, offices include Toronto, New York, Calgary and Vancouver. TAXI's business is built on a media-neutral approach fostering strategic and creative agility and a consistent brand experience across multiple consumer touch points. Ranked 8th most-awarded agency in the world by Creativity in 2006, Marketing Magazine Canadian Agency of the Year status in 2001, -05 and -06, Strategy Magazine Agency of the Year in 2002,-03, -04 and -05 and one of Canada's 50 Best Managed Companies for 2003, -04 and -05 by Deloitte. TAXI's mission is to create an environment that attracts bright people and challenges them to do great things that are socially and economically relevant.

UNICEF is the world's leader for children, working in 156 countries and territories to save, protect and enhance the lives of girls and boys. UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, promotes quality basic education, protects children from violence, exploitation and AIDS, and is the world's largest provider of vaccines for developing nations. A global leader in emergencies with six decades of on-the-ground experience, UNICEF saves and rebuilds children's lives in natural disasters and conflict. UNICEF is funded entirely by voluntary contributions from individuals, businesses, foundations, schools, associations and governments. UNICEF is the world's largest global procurer and deliverer of insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) with over 24 million ITNs procured in 2006. More than 90 per cent of these were long lasting insecticide-treated nets that do not require re-treatment.

Help spread the word and Spread the Net. For more information on Spread the Net visit www.spreadthenet.org.

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