Since it was launched nationally in 2002, the Canwest Raise-a-Reader campaign has raised $15 million.
Canwest, the largest publisher of paid English-language newspapers in Canada, said 100% of the money raised stays in the community where it was donated, with funds going to libraries and local literacy organizations. Canwest newspapers conducted the campaign in 27 markets.
Among the celebrity hawkers during the day were Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter, Premier of Nova Scotia; Kevin Lowe and Patrick LaForge of the Edmonton Oilers hockey team; Mike Gillis, president and general manager of the Vancouver Canucks hockey team; and a number of Canadian Olympic athletes including Lynn Nightingale, Angus Mortimer, Jan Betker and Joan McCusker.
"The incredible support that people right across the country have given Canwest Raise-a-Reader Day, despite the current economic climate, shows just how important an issue family literacy is to Canadians," Canwest Global President and CEO Leonard Asper said in a statement. "With our generous national and local sponsors and the efforts of participating newspapers and volunteers I am proud of the positive difference this initiative is making in the lives of so many people."
By: E&P Staff Volunteers hawking special editions of Canwest Global Communications newspapers for donations to the chain's annual Raise-a-Reader Day last Wednesday raised at least $2 million for the literacy cause, the Canadian media giant announced.