Toonie Challenge & Concussion Awareness Program to be Launched Together at Roslyn School in Westmount

an athlete with students
Montreal - Thursday, October 27, 2016

Roslyn Elementary School in Westmount (4699 Westmount) will be the site on Friday, November 4 (9:30 am) for the launch of both the Friends of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) Toonie Challenge and a concussion awareness program led by a former Canadian Football League player.

The Toonie Challenge

Approximately 250 students from more than a dozen local schools will attend the fifth annual MUHC Toonie Challenge Event. This has become a delightful program where members of the MUHC community give their time to demonstrate and explain to students the important work they do at the hospital. Some of the exhibitors this year include Pediatric Dentistry, Infection Control, Nutrition, the Research Institute and many more.

Keynote speaker Dr. Preetha Krishnamoorthy, Pediatric Endocrinology at the Montreal Children’s Hospital will present the students two items the hospital needs: a Baby Scale with trolley for complex care ($7,500) and Books for the Family Resource Library ($7,000). The students will vote (by secret ballot!) for which of these items to purchase with the toonies they raise this year. Fundraising happens in all the various schools, after the Toonie Challenge. Students can choose to hold any fundraiser they wish such as Free Dress Day, a Bake Sale, sell Smoothies for Toonies, Pajama Day etc. The toonies will be gathered on May 31, 2017.

Spokespersons are Nicole Small, co-chair of the Friends of the MUHC Toonie Challenge and director of the Friends of the MUHC and Lesley Reford, president of the Friends of the MUHC.

Event co-chairs are Andrea Howick and Nicole Small. The goal of the Friends of the MUHC Toonie Challenge is for students in Montreal to collect toonies, to raise awareness of the needs of the hospital, and to engage students and their schools in an active relationship with the MUHC. All funds raised will go towards vital equipment purchases and the hospital’s greatest needs.  

Concussion Awareness

The concussion awareness program is being coordinated by the McGill University chapter of Concussion Legacy Foundation Canada, whose mission is to advance the study, treatment and prevention of the effects of brain trauma in Canadian athletes and other at-risk groups. It was founded by former CFL player and four-time Grey Cup champion, Tim Fleiszer, in December of 2012 to help solve the concussion crisis in Canada. Since that time, CLF Canada has operated concussion prevention/education initiatives across the country. Fleiszer is a former Roslyn student and he will be at the launch.

Roslyn Principal Nicholas Katalifos says that the start of the Toonie Challenge is as good a time as any to connect the MUHC to the growing problem of concussions. “Concussions do not only occur in competitive sports,” he says. “It could occur when students are playing in the playground, slipping on ice walking or any other circumstance.

The Concussion Education Program is a proactive approach designed to raise awareness about the seriousness of concussions and to prevent the negative effects that can result from inadequately managed concussions. Trained volunteers deliver age-appropriate presentations about concussions through discussion, video, and interactive games to students in Grades 1 to 11. Students learn about what it means to have a concussion, signs, symptoms, and how to make smart decisions about re-joining activity. The program focuses on empowering students and student-athletes with the knowledge they need to take concussions seriously and foster a safer concussion culture.

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