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WHL ANNOUNCES WHL RIDE FOR THE KIDS

Saskatoon, SK – The Western Hockey League, the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan, Scotiabank and a group of WHL Alumni led by Kelly Chase, Dave Chartier and Curtis Leschyshyn today announced plans for a province wide celebrity bike relay in support of the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan. 

The event, to be referred to as the “WHL Ride for the Kids”, presented by Scotiabank, will feature former WHL and NHL players participating in a 655 kilometer bike relay across the province of Saskatchewan to raise awareness and funding for the new Children’s Hospital in Saskatchewan.

The WHL Ride for the Kids will feature stops in all five WHL Saskatchewan centres from June 5-9, 2011 with fundraising events being staged following each leg of the relay by the Prince Albert Raiders, Saskatoon Blades, Swift Current Broncos, Moose Jaw Warriors and Regina Pats.  The WHL Ride for the Kids will be launched with a kick-off event in Prince Albert on June 5 with the first leg of the bike relay starting the morning of June 6 at the Scotiabank branch in Prince Albert and concluding later that afternoon in Saskatoon.

The WHL Ride for the Kids has received a strong response from former Saskatchewan WHL and NHL players who are eager to participate in this unique fundraising event.  Players who plan to participate in the event thus far include; Barrett Jackman, Jordan Eberle, Luke Schenn,  Mike Sillinger, Jamie Heward, Colby Armstrong, Josh Harding and Rhett Warrener.

“Scotiabank is proud to partner with the WHL, an organization not only dedicated to excellence on the ice, but one that shares our commitment and desire to make a difference in our community,” said Kim Braun, District Vice President, Saskatchewan North District, Scotiabank. “At Scotiabank, we believe in contributing to the communities in which we live, work, and do business, and being part of such a great event in support of the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan fits perfectly with this mandate.”

“There is a part of Saskatchewan in all of us,” commented WHL and NHL Alumnus Kelly Chase, “This is a great way for us to give thanks to the Western Hockey League for all they have done for us and to thank the people of Saskatchewan by raising awareness and funds for the much needed new Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan.”

“The Children’s Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan is grateful to the WHL, Kelly Chase, and all NHL and WHL players and former players who have taken their time to be involved in this amazing fundraiser.  We are thankful for their tireless efforts in support of the new Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan and the children and families of this province.  The WHL Ride for Kids is an amazing testament to how the people of province of Saskatchewan continue to come together in supporting this wonderful project,” states Brynn Boback-Lane, President and CEO of the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan.

“The WHL and our five Saskatchewan based WHL Clubs are very excited to support this wonderful fundraising initiative by members of our WHL Alumni in support of the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan,” commented WHL Commissioner Ron Robison. “This is another great example of how passionate our players and our teams are to assist in raising funds for such an important cause in their home province.”

About the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan
Children’s Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan is a provincial charity raising awareness and funds for pediatric medical research, equipment, education and the provincial children’s hospital. We are the Saskatchewan member of Children’s Miracle Network, 100% dedicated to Saskatchewan children and their hospital, and proud partners of the Saskatoon and Regina Qu’Appelle Health Regions on the children’s hospital project.  www.childrenshospitalsask.ca

About Kelly Chase
Chase’s quest to support the Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan began with his appearance on the CBC’s Battle of the Blades and continues with The WHL Ride for the Kids.  Born in Porcupine Plain, SK, he played for the Saskatoon Blades from 1985-88 before joining the St. Louis Blues in 1988.  Kelly retired from hockey in 2000 having appeared in 458 NHL games.  Chase now works as a colour commentator for the St. Louis Blues broadcast team.  He is a recipient of the Order of Canada for his contributions to the province of Saskatchewan.

About the WHL
Western Hockey League (WHL) is the largest major junior hockey league in the world today with 22 member Clubs throughout Western Canada and the U.S. Pacific Northwest. The WHL attracts over 4 million spectators each season to regular season and playoff games and is a world leader in player development and scholarship opportunities.  Each season the WHL is one of the top leagues from which players are selected from in the NHL Entry Draft. Currently over 20% of all NHL players are graduates of the WHL. The WHL is also a leading provider of post-secondary scholarships with over 400 scholarships awarded each year to current and graduate WHL players, more than any other league in North America. The WHL is a member of the Canadian Hockey League (together with the Ontario Hockey League and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League) which consists of 60 member clubs from coast to coast in Canada and the northern United States.

About Scotiabank
As the Official Bank of the NHL®, NHLPA®, NHL Alumni™ and the CWHL, Scotiabank is very proud to be Canada’s Hockey Bank.  Scotiabank has a long tradition of supporting hockey in Canada from local teams and minor hockey associations to professional players and leagues.  Through its partnerships, Scotiabank’s hockey programs enrich the communities where Canadians live and work by engaging fans and players in new ways to celebrate our game.  Scotiabank supports the passion and pride Canadians feel for hockey and believes it is fundamental to helping young people learn about teamwork, camaraderie and the spirit of competition. Scotiabank’s partnership with Pro Hockey Life provides exclusive in-store and online discounts to the Bank’s customers, promotes advice on equipment and enhances the grassroots community programs of both companies.  Scotiabank also has partnerships with the Montreal Canadiens®, the Calgary Flames® whose home arena is the Scotiabank Saddledome, and the Ottawa Senators® whose home arena is Scotiabank Place.  For more information on Scotiabank’s hockey programs visit www.scotiahockeyclub.com.

Scotiabank is committed to supporting the communities in which we live and work, both in Canada and abroad, through our global philanthropic program, ‘Bright Future’.  Recognized as a leader internationally and among Canadian corporations for our charitable donations and philanthropic activities, Scotiabank has provided on average approximately $44 million annually to community causes around the world over each of the last five years. Visit us at www.scotiabank.com.

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