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Spread the Net Student Challenge 2017-2018

Plan International Canada and the Rick Mercer Report announce the winning schools of the 2017-2018 Spread the Net Student Challenge

Top schools from Ontario and Nova Scotia raised funds for bed nets and malaria prevention efforts

TORONTO, March, 7, 2018 – Plan International Canada and Rick Mercer are proud to announce the winners of the 11th annual Spread the Net Student Challenge, a friendly nationwide competition between schools that raises funds for bed nets in Africa.

Mercer – television personality, co-founder of Spread the Net, and champion of the Student Challenge – will visit each of the winning schools and feature them on the final episode of the Rick Mercer Report on April 3, in celebration of their outstanding fundraising efforts and school spirit.

The 2017-2018 Spread the Net Student Challenge winners are:

  • Stewarttown Middle School, Georgetown, Ont. (Top elementary school)
  • Holy Names Catholic High School, Windsor, Ont. (Top secondary school)
  • Dalhousie University – Golden Key Chapter, Halifax, NS (Top post-secondary school)
  • Kincardine District Secondary School, Kincardine, Ont. (Wild card school)

"I'm truly inspired by the hundreds of students in Canada who have rallied entire communities in the fight against malaria. Their efforts have helped equip families in Africa with bed nets and the knowledge to protect themselves from this devastating disease," says Rick Mercer. "I couldn't be prouder of the impact that the Spread the Net Student Challenge has made over the past 11 years."

Fifty schools participated this year, raising funds for bed nets that will prevent malaria-infected mosquitoes from biting children and their families. Since 2007, Plan International Canada’s Spread the Net Student Challenge has garnered the support of 866 elementary, secondary and post-secondary schools across Canada, who have raised close to $2 million for the cause.

"We are so thrilled to see the commitment, passion and creativity of young people across Canada who are not only helping to prevent deaths, but are also raising awareness among their peers and communities about issues faced by children in the Global South. One child under the age of five dies of malaria every two minutes," says Caroline Riseboro, President and CEO of Plan International Canada. "We congratulate and thank all of the students and educators who participated in the challenge this year for their incredible support."

Global efforts to end the malaria epidemic are making significant progress, but more than 400,000 people still die of malaria each year, the vast majority of them under the age of five.

During the last 11 years, Spread the Net has helped protect the lives of more than 41.7 million people by contributing to the delivery of 19.1 million malaria-preventing bed nets to families in Africa.

For more information about Plan International Canada’s Spread the Net Student Challenge, visit .

About Plan International and the Because I am a Girl initiative

Founded in 1937, Plan International 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 International strives for a just world that advances children’s rights and equality for girls. Because I am a Girl is Plan International’s global movement to transform power relations so that girls everywhere can learn, lead, decide and thrive.

Visit for more information.

About Spread the Net

Spread the Net is a Plan International Canada initiative designed to educate and inspire Canadians to help end preventable malaria deaths by raising funds and awareness to support the purchase and distribution of bed nets, along with training on their use, to children and their families in Africa. Spread the Net was founded in 2006 by Belinda Stronach, P.C., and Rick Mercer, and became an initiative of Plan International Canada in July 2013. Visit for more information.

Media contact:

Angie Torres-Ramos
Plan International Canada
T: +1 416 920 1654 x244