|MONTREAL IMPACT SOCCER CLUB TO LAUNCH HEART WEEK|
MONTREAL, FEBRUARY 9, 2005– The championship Montreal Impact soccer team will officially launch Heart Week on Monday, February 14 (11 a.m.) at Royal Vale School (5851 Somerled) in N.D.G. Head coach Nick DeSantis, captain Mauro Biello and a number of other players will scrimmage in the double gymnasium before hundreds of students, all attired in red.
This is the second year that the Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) has teamed up with the EMSB to organize Heart Week. Royal Vale is one of many EMSB schools where students will be outfitted in red on a specific day this week. Each student with a healthy heart is asked to bring a small donation - a loonie or toonie - to help a child with a "broken heart." Says Campaign organizer Mario Bentrovato, chairman of the EMSB’s East End Edward Murphy Elementary School Governing Board: "This will also make kids think about helping others and appreciating their own good health."
Bentrovato’s young daughter was born with a heart defect. She will join him at the Heart Week kickoff. Robert Baldwin Riding Liberal MNA Pierre Marsan, the Parliamentary Secretary to Health Minister Phillippe Couilliard, will also be in attendance. Bentrovato is part of Au Coeur de la vie/The Heart of Life, which last year started a $1 million fund-raising campaign to support equipment and training for The Children’s cardiac team. Au Coeur de la vie/The Heart of Life is a parents’ support and fund-raising group associated with The Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation. It was launched in 1997 by parents of children born with heart defects who had undergone, at birth or at a very young age, a complex open heart surgery at the Montreal Children’s Hospital.
Last year EMSB schools raised $10,000 for this cause. Bentrovato and his team have added schools from the South Shore and the French sector this year. In the coming days, Impact players will be making more visits with DeSantis and Biello serving as honourary campaign chairs.
Michael J. Cohen