YMCA Canada

December 06, 2013 16:38 ET

YMCAs Open Doors for Canadians to Pay Tribute to Nelson Mandela

Memorial Books to Be Presented to the Mandela Family in South Africa

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - December 06, 2013) - Several YMCAs in communities across Canada have opened their doors today for members of the public to express their condolences and pay tribute to the late Nelson Mandela. YMCAs in Canada share the sentiments of fellow community members about the incredible impact Mr. Mandela made on our world, and stand alongside our fellow YMCAs in South Africa in tribute of his legacy.

"We were proud to be approached by the Canadian Friends of Nelson Mandela to open our doors for the public to pay tribute to Mr. Mandela," said Bahadur Madhani, Chair of the National Board, YMCA Canada and former Chair of the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund (Canada). "Our mission is very much aligned with Mr. Mandela's moral leadership and vision with our focus on caring and nurturing of children and youth, as well as our shared values of peaceful coexistence, mutual respect and understanding of all people. As centres of community across Canada, we are a natural place where people can connect at this time of profound loss to pay tribute and celebrate the life of a true hero."

Canadians are invited to visit the YMCAs listed below to pay their respects by signing a memorial book in Mr. Mandela's honour. Starting today and continuing until the day of the state funeral, community members are invited to share their words, memories and thoughts. At the end of this period, the books will be forwarded to YMCA Canada who will present them to the Mandela family through the Canadian Friends of Nelson Mandela.

The YMCA's relationship with Mr. Mandela began when as a young boxer, he worked out regularly at the Soweto YMCA. This relationship has continued with our connection to the YMCAs in Africa, including the South African YMCA's partnership with the YMCA of Niagara. As partners, we have worked together to strengthen communities.

Books of condolence are available at the following YMCA locations:

YMCA of Greater Toronto
Toronto Central Grosvenor St. YMCA Centre
20 Grosvenor Street
Toronto, ON M4Y 2V5

YMCA-YWCA of the National Capital Region
Taggart Family YMCA-YWCA
180 Argyle Avenue
Ottawa, ON K2P 1B7

YMCA of Niagara
Walker Family YMCA
25 YMCA Drive
St. Catharine's, ON L2N 7P9

British Columbia
YMCA of Greater Vancouver
Robert Lee YMCA
955 Burrard Street
Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y2

YMCAs of Quebec
Downtown YMCA
1440 Stanley Street
Montreal, QC H3A 1P7

Notre-Dame-de-Grâce YMCA
4335 Hampton Avenue
Montreal, QC H4A 2L3

About YMCA Canada
YMCA Canada is a charity dedicated to building healthy communities. We are committed to nurturing the potential of children, teens and young adults, promoting healthy living and fostering social responsibility within the community. There are 45 YMCA Associations and six YMCA-YWCA Associations across Canada. Together, we serve more than two million people, in 1,000 Canadian communities annually. Our focus on inclusiveness and accessibility means we serve people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities through all stages of life. Through YMCA financial assistance programs and the YMCA Strong Kids campaign, the YMCA is accessible to all.

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