Moose remain a part of Toronto|
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Economic Development, Culture and Tourism -- With the completion of
January's Great Moose Auction, Moose in the City, one of the most unforgettable
events in Toronto history, also drew to a close. While this phenomenally
successful exhibition may now officially be over, Toronto's beloved
metropolitan moose are far from gone and definitely not forgotten!
Among Moose in the City's many achievements, perhaps the greatest was the
exhibition's financial contribution to Canada's Olympic athletes and local
Toronto charities. To date, Moose in the City has raised close to $1.4 million
for charity and this number will continue to grow as new "moose" fundraising
initiatives continue to be developed.
In the past five weeks, $158,000 has been raised through the auction of six
moose at three local events: the Dragon Ball, to benefit the Yee Hong Centre
for Geriatric Care; La Belle Epoque, to benefit the National Ballet School; and
the Slammin' Jammin' Duncan Moose Auction, part of a Raptors halftime show, to
benefit the Raptors Foundation in assisting Youth-at-Risk across Ontario.
Moose in the City's contribution to charity, however, goes far beyond money. Of
all the moose-admirers world wide, the children of Toronto were by far the
moose's greatest fans. And nowhere was this more evident than at the Hospital
for Sick Children and Toronto's Ronald McDonald House, where the City's moose
brought smiles to the faces of sick children daily.
"Home Away from Home", one of 29 moose auctioned live at Marilyn Lastman's Arts
Ball, was purchased back by its original patron, founder of McDonald's Canada
and Moose in the City chairman George Cohon. Mr. Cohon purchased the moose to
ensure it would be returned to Toronto's Ronald McDonald House, where it was on
display throughout the Moose in the City exhibition.
"Moose in the City did so much for Toronto - attracting millions of tourists
and huge international media coverage," commented chairman Cohon in response to
his purchase of Home Away from Home. "But the joy this particular moose brought
to the children at Ronald McDonald House was truly the highlight of the entire
exhibition for me. For the children's sake, I had to make sure it returned
Home Away from Home was created by children staying at Ronald McDonald House
while receiving treatment at the Hospital for Sick Children. They painted the
moose with images of their favourite things: blankets, teddy bears, backpacks
and dolls. Home Away from Home has now been returned to Ronald McDonald House,
where it will remain as a cherished symbol of comfort and home.
So, the legacy of Moose in the City will live on -- from the ongoing benefits
of the money the exhibition raised for charity, to the smiles the moose will
continue to bring to the faces of children and adults alike as moose pop up in
the most unexpected places. A constant reminder of one of the most
unforgettable events in Toronto history!