Plan Canada and Rick Mercer proud to announce winners of the 7th annual Spread the Net Student Challenge to prevent malaria

Congratulations to Calgary’s Elbow Valley Elementary School, Richmond Hill’s Bayview Secondary School and Ottawa’s Algonquin College!

TORONTO, ON, March 12, 2014 – Rick Mercer and Plan Canada are pleased to announce the results of this year’s Spread the Net Student Challenge that engaged students across Canada in a friendly competition to raise funds for malaria preventing mosquito bed nets.

The top fundraising school in each category will receive a special visit from celebrated comedian Rick Mercer and will be featured on the April 1 season finale of the Rick Mercer Report. This year’s winners are:

  • Elementary: Elbow Valley Elementary School, Calgary, AB - $18,489.35
  • Secondary: Bayview Secondary School, Richmond Hill, ON - $20,665.85
  • Post-Secondary: Algonquin College, Ottawa, ON - $9,318.80

“Once again, students across Canada have taken up the challenge to help end preventable deaths from malaria in Africa,” says Mercer. “Every year I’m amazed by the generosity, the hard work and the creativity that students around the country display in their commitment to end this disease – and this year is no exception. I’m looking forward to meeting these students and profiling their achievement in the season finale of the Rick Mercer Report.”

This year’s fundraising efforts led by Canadian students have raised over $170,000 that will go towards protecting the lives of some of the most vulnerable children and families in Africa. Rick Mercer and Plan Canada would like to congratulate all participating schools on this impressive achievement.

“We know that mosquito bed nets save lives,” says Rosemary McCarney, Plan Canada President and CEO. “Students from the schools right across Canada who’ve participated in this year’s Spread the Net Student Challenge are saving thousands of lives, and we thank them for that. By working together, we can save thousands more.”

Over the past 7 years, more than 500 schools across Canada have taken part in the Spread the Net Student Challenge, collectively now raising over $1.2 million for life-saving bed nets as well as spreading awareness in their communities.

Malaria claims over 660,000 lives each year and a simple $10 bed net is a proven and cost-effective way to prevent this deadly disease. Since 2007, Spread the Net has delivered nearly 563,000 bed nets that have protected the lives of some 2.5 million children and pregnant women in Liberia, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania and Guinea.

About Plan

Founded in 1937, Plan is one of the world’s oldest and largest international development agencies, working in partnership with millions of people around the world to end global poverty. Not for profit, independent and inclusive of all faiths and cultures, Plan has only one agenda: to improve the lives of children. Because I am a Girl is Plan’s global initiative to end gender inequality, promote girls’ rights and lift millions of girls – and everyone around them – out of poverty. Visit plancanada.ca and becauseiamagirl.ca for more information.

About Spread the Net

Spread the Net is a grassroots campaign led by Plan Canada designed to motivate, educate and inspire Canadians to help end preventable malaria deaths by raising funds and awareness to support the purchase and distribution of mosquito bed nets to children and families in Africa. Spread the Net was founded in 2006 by Belinda Stronach, P.C., and Rick Mercer. Visit spreadthenet.ca for more information.

For media inquiries, contact:

Dena Allen, Senior Media and Public Relations Manager, Plan Canada T: 416 920 1654 ext 326 | C: 416.723.6340 | dallen@plancanada.ca

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