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Sun Life Financial Launches Helping Buds Program And Gives Toronto Maple Leafs More Band For Their P

12/29/2013 11:21:55 AM

Funds raised will be donated to MLSE Foundation and the Breakaway Hockey Program

Sun Life Financial is putting its money into a different type of investment.  The financial services company launched the Helping Buds program as the Toronto Maple Leafs played host to the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday night.  The program is a two-year partnership between Sun Life Financial and MLSE Foundation that encourages healthy active lifestyles in youth and aims to educate them about diabetes prevention.

“We’re honoured to partner with MLSE Foundation to raise awareness about diabetes prevention in Canada,” said Paul Joliat, Assistant Vice-President, Philanthropy, Sun Life Financial. “The Sun Life Financial Helping Buds program will grant access to hockey programs for youth at risk of developing diabetes which will promote a healthy and active lifestyle. This program supports our continued efforts to educate and empower Canadians to join us in preventing and managing this disease.”

As part of the program, Sun Life Financial will donate $100 to MLSE Foundation for every assist made by a Toronto Maple Leaf at all Leafs home games until April 12, 2013.  When Toronto -native David Clarkson or James Van Riemsdyk, one of Toronto’s point leaders make an assist, $200 will be donated.  Sun Life Financial has also called on Leafs Nation to participate in Helping Buds.  By tweeting out #HelpingBuds during any Toronto Maple Leaf regular season home game, $2 will be donated towards MLSE Foundation.

“Michael Bartlett quote”

To help encourage healthy active living and prevention of diabetes in youth, MLSE Foundation will use the funds raised by Sun Life Financial and Helping Buds to maintain the Breakaway Hockey program at Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office (TNO) until 2017.  The funds will also help MLSE Foundation host two on-ice hockey clinics at Air Canada Centre for kids and families enrolled in the Breakaway Hockey Program.  As a special treat, Toronto Maple Leaf players will be on-hand to lead the clinics and give TNO youth the rare opportunity to learn from their hockey heroes. These clinics will also include a diabetes prevention component that will educate the community’s youth about the importance of healthy living including regular exercise and nutritional information.

Sun Life Financial launches Helping Buds program


The Breakaway Hockey Program is specifically targeted at youth newcomers in hopes to engage and introduce 60 to 80 new Canadian girls and boys from economically disadvantaged backgrounds to hockey at no cost. In teaching hockey to youth, this program hopes to develop life skills such as teamwork, self-confidence and respect. It also aims to provide programs such as academic tutoring and healthy eating.

About Sun Life Financial

Sun Life Financial is a leading international financial services organization providing a diverse range of protection and wealth accumulation products and services to individuals and corporate customers. Sun Life Financial and its partners have operations in key markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Bermuda. As of September 30, 2013 the Sun Life Financial group of companies had total assets under management of $590 billion. For more information please visit www.sunlife.com.  

Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF.

About MLSE Foundation

The MLSE Foundation believes all kids should have access to sport and the opportunity to develop lasting dreams on the playing field. With the support of all four MLSE teams – the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors, Toronto FC and Toronto Marlies – the Foundation funds the refurbishment of local athletic facilities and programs that support kids through sports and recreation. Since launching in December 2009, the MLSE Foundation has invested more than $9.5 million into our community. Last season, more than 110,000 kids’ lives were impacted through the power of sport. Visit mlsefoundation.org, or follow @MLSEFoundation.


Media contacts:

Abby Albino, Coordinator, Corporate Communications, MLSE, 416.815.5455