True Patriot Love Tribute Dinner raises over $2.3 million for the fourth year

Nov 02, 2012, 14:06 ET from True Patriot Love Foundation

TORONTO, Nov. 2, 2012 /CNW/ - Today, the True Patriot Love Foundation's annual Tribute Dinner Presented by Bell Canada raised over $2.3 million for the fourth year in a row.

Since its inaugural year in 2009, the Dinner has quickly become the largest dinner fundraiser in support of Canada's military and its families. The overwhelming support provided by Canadian business, political, and community leaders is testament to the pressing needs of military families.

"Our great fear is that Canada's declining presence in Afghanistan leads to decreased mindshare for the military among civilian Canadians. We can never let Canada's military return to those decades of darkness when they were out of sight and out of mind. With your support, True Patriot Love will ensure that every military charity in our country will have financial resources available to them," said Shaun Francis, Chair and Co-Founder of TPL.

Among the Canadian leaders and luminaries who attended the gala dinner included His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada, Chief of the Defence Staff General Tom Lawson in his first public address since his appointment, the Honourable Minister of National Defence Peter MacKay, and Bell Canada President and CEO, George Cope.

"The Bell team is very proud to support the mental health of Canadian Forces members and their families through the True Patriot Love Dinner," said Mary Deacon, Chair of the Bell Let's Talk mental health initiative. "With more and more Canadians talking about mental illness, it's truly inspiring to see the military community also opening up and breaking down the stigma that prevents treatment and recovery."

True Patriot Love's commitment to mental health and well-being, physical health and rehabilitation, and military family health and support was echoed earlier this year with the Foundation's pledge to disburse $1 million for mental health, and another $1 million towards physical rehabilitation and family support. Veterans' transition will also remain a major focus for the Foundation, with this fall's recent True Patriot Love Expedition comprised of wounded veterans and the True Patriot Love Tri-National Military Mental Health Symposium.

"Many soldiers face challenges as they transition to post-military life. With thousands of soldiers expected to transition in the next year, True Patriot Love's goal is to ensure that their needs are met. We will bridge the military and civilian worlds so that corporate employers recognize the important skills developed during military training. While Canada's military role is changing, it is not over. There is still more work to be done, and more support that is needed." said Bronwen Evans, Vice-Chair and Co-Founder of TPL.

Going forward, True Patriot Love will host a veterans' transition conference, to be held in Toronto on January 29th, 2013 and will continue its successful fundraising Tribute Dinners across Canada.

About TPL:

The True Patriot Love Foundation was formed by a group of dedicated business leaders to support and honour members of the Canadian military and their families, while also building bridges between Canadian civilians and the military to better understand and appreciate the sacrifices of soldiers and their families.

Over the past three years, True Patriot Love was honoured to have raised over $13 million to fund a variety of military programs, charities and causes, when and where it is needed most. Our three key areas of support are Family Health and Support, Physical Health and Rehabilitation and Mental Health and Well-Being.

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SOURCE True Patriot Love Foundation