The Corporation of The City of London
August 1, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
City of London launches Elliot Lake Backpack Drive
Londoners are asked to drop off new, empty backpacks at the City Hall lobby, the
Western Fair Sport Centre and Tourism London Information Centres downtown and
Wellington Rd. S..
Elliot Lake was devastated by the sudden collapse of its main retail mall on
June 23. The accident killed two residents and left the community in shock and
mourning. The town's main shopping area remains closed. Finding back to school
supplies may be difficult for some.
Mayor Fontana brought a motion proposing the backpack drive before Council last
week and was not surprised when other members immediately rallied to the idea.
He says, "The backpacks are a useful gift for the children of Elliot Lake. They
will be filled with new school supplies and something even more important. The
backpacks will be a reminder that we care about them - that Londoners wanted to
make an effort to let them know we are sorry for their loss and the tragedy in
their community. It is important the residents of Elliot Lake understand the
shock and pain they experienced was not just a video clip or sound bite to other
Canadians. We are looking for ways to help them - to show ongoing compassion. I
know Londoners will get behind this effort."
The backpack drive originated with Cheryl Finn, the City's Director of Sports
Tourism for Tourism London. Born and raised in Elliot Lake, Cheryl spoke with
the mayor and councillors of Elliot Lake and they suggested a backpack drive
would be a welcome gesture for children. "We wanted to do something positive for
the families of the community and London has always been a supportive, giving
community. There is always a lot of excitement surrounding 'back to school' and
we wanted to ease a little bit of the pressure for the families by beginning a
backpack drive,"Cheryl says.
Staples, the business supply chain, has partnered with Elliot Lake to fill every
new backpack with school supplies.
The backpacks will be delivered to the town Aug. 24.