November 14, 2008
ROOTS AND MASTERCARD CANADA JOIN FORCES IN SUPPORT OF BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS OF CANADA
Two companies launch national initiative to raise funds to help recruit volunteers for
Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Canada in-school mentoring program
 

(TORONTO) – – Roots and MasterCard Canada officially kicked-off the holiday season yesterday by launching Give a Little for Something Big, a national in-store fundraising initiative in support of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada’s (BBBSC) In-School Mentoring Program.

The launch event took place at the Roots flagship store in downtown Toronto in the presence of leaders of the two companies, the head of BBBSC and hockey legend Bobby Orr. Some 25 “littles” and their “bigs” participated in the evening where they were with presented with Roots apparel.  The event also featured a special performance by vocalist Voyce Alexander and Roots musical director Terence Gowan.

From Nov. 17 to Dec. 24, Roots and MasterCard will encourage consumers to help give a child an in-school mentor by making a $5 donation online or by adding $1 or more to their purchases at Roots stores and at roots.com. To kick-start this fundraising initiative, MasterCard donated $25,000 to BBBSC.

 “As business leaders with a strong sense of community, the partnership between MasterCard and Roots is a natural fit,” says Kevin Stanton, President, MasterCard Canada.  “By supporting Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada, it is our hope that every child in Canada who needs a mentor or role-model will have access to one. To be part of such an important initiative with an iconic company like Roots is something we are very proud of.”

Over the coming weeks, this initiative is being supported with national English and French TV, online and print media advertising, as well as Roots in-store signage and Roots cashier ask programs.

“Roots is pleased to be joining forces with MasterCard Canada on this great initiative, as both organizations share a common goal of supporting the community,” says Roots Co-Founder Michael Budman. “At Roots, we believe that the ultimate gift is helping others, and adding as little as $1.00 to your purchase this holiday season can mean that another child who needs a role-model will receive one.”

MasterCard and Roots are encouraging Canadians to support BBBSC while making their holiday gift purchases at Roots stores across the country.

“We consider ourselves lucky to have support from a generous and committed partner like MasterCard Canada and a leading Canadian retailer like Roots,” says Bruce MacDonald, President, BBBSC.  “We’re hopeful that Canadians will give a little extra this holiday season so that we can expand our recruitment of volunteers in order to give Big Brothers and Big Sisters to the thousands of Canadian children on our waiting list.”

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About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada is the nation’s largest youth mentoring organization providing quality adult mentoring services for 20,000 children in more than 900 communities. For more than 90 years Big Brothers Big Sisters organizations in your community have been there to help provide a positive influence in the life of a child when one is needed.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada believes in a future where Every Child In Canada Who Needs A Mentor Has A Mentor. Join our effort to help Canadian children and youth, visit www.sharealittlemagic.ca to find out how you or your organization can get involved.

About MasterCard Worldwide
MasterCard Worldwide advances global commerce by providing a critical economic link among financial institutions, businesses, cardholders and merchants worldwide. As a franchisor, processor and advisor, MasterCard develops and markets payment solutions, processes over 18 billion transactions each year, and provides industry-leading analysis and consulting services to financial institution customers and merchants. Through its family of brands, including MasterCard, Maestro and Cirrus, MasterCard serves consumers and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. For more information, go to www.mastercard.com.
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For more information, please contact:

Robert Sarner

Director of Communication & Public Affairs
Roots Canada
416-781-3574, ext. 4280
rsarner@roots.com

Julie Wilson
MasterCard Canada
416-365-5594
Julie_Wilson@mastercard.com,

Bruce MacDonald
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada
905-639-0461, ext. 18
bmacdonald@bbbsc.ca