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MONTREAL, APRIL 21, 2005- More than $25,000 was raised for brain tumor research, therapies and equipment at the first annual English Montreal School Board (EMSB) Brain Waves Gala April 19 at the Leonardo Da Vinci Center in St. Léonard. Organized by four EMSB high schools – John Paul I and Laurier Macdonald in St. Léonard, Royal West Academy in Montreal West and Royal Vale in NDG – the event benefited the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI) and Hospital in their ongoing battle to find a cure for brain tumors, as well as enhance the lives of individuals who are stricken with the disease.

Hosted by Frank Cavallaro and Mose Persico of CFCF TV, the gala featured 14 musical and dancing acts performed by students from the four high schools. As well, the capacity crowd was entertained by two special attractions: Montreal-based Blues diva Dawn Tyler Watson and the Canadian Armed Forces’ 438 Squadron Helicopter Band.

There were also two special guests of honour that were in attendance that evening. Dr. Rolando F. Del Maestro, clinical director of the MNI’s Brain Tumor Research Centre, who accepted the $25,000 cheque from the Brain Waves Gala Committee; and Lucia Eufemia, an 18-year-old brain tumor patient at the MNI and former Rosemount High School student, who was given a very touching tribute by her mother and former classmates for her courageous battle with the disease, which has afflicted her since the age of seven.

The evening featured a draw for several door prizes, including restaurant and health club gift certificates, an autographed football from the Montreal Alouettes and the grand prize of a trip for two to Florida.

As well, during Brain Tumor Awareness Week (March 14-18), John Paul I High School conducted a school-wide wide raffle, which raised raised over $800 for the MNI. And on April 7, the school held a hot dog lunch, which also raised over $800.

The Brain Waves Gala Committee included EMSB Spiritual Animators Vince Lacroce, Rocco Speranza, Michael Donkers and Joseph Monachino; Michael Talevi, principal of Dalkeith School in Anjou; Lina and Grace Di Giovanni of the Franco Di Giovanni Foundation for Brain Tumor Illnesses; David Hum; Loretta Gauthier; Carmela Nigro and Enza Passa.

Brain tumors are the second leading cause of cancer deaths amongst children, in which primary and metastatic brain tumors kill an average of 15,000 people each year. This year, over 20,000 new cases of primary brain tumors will be diagnosed in North America. Brain Tumor Awareness Week is officially recognized by the EMSB.

Michael J. Cohen
Communications and Marketing Specialist
English Montreal School Board
Tel: (514) 483-7200 ext. 7243
Fax: (514) 483-7213