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Boston Pizza Foundation commits more than $363,000 to help ACT Foundation bring Automated External Defibrillation (AED) program to 70 Quebec high schools



June 21, 2011 (Laurentians and Lanaudière) - The Advanced Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation is today announcing a $363,555 contribution by the Boston Pizza Foundation to its High School CPR and AED program in Quebec. This contribution will support the establishment of ACT’s CPR and AED training program in 70 high schools, beginning with 25 schools in three school boards this fall. 

The fall program launch will see over 5,000 students empowered to save lives every year by their high school teachers in 25 high schools through Commission scolaire des Affluents, Commission scolaire des Samares and Commission scolaire Pierre-Neveu. The donation will see schools receive teacher training as CPR and AED instructors, mannequins and AED training units, enabling teachers to deliver the student training every year. Schools will also receive an AED for in-school cardiac arrest emergencies. 

“The Boston Pizza Foundation is committed to increasing access to AEDs in communities across Canada. As part of that commitment, we are thrilled to be working with ACT to ensure thousands of young people receive important training that someday may help them save a life,” says Cheryl Treliving, executive director of the Boston Pizza Foundation.  “We know that AEDs can save lives when people have the proper training and education on how and when to use them.  We plan to show continued support for this initiative in Quebec and across Canada to ensure teachers and students are confident and ready to use an AED should an emergency situation arise.”

“We are proud to announce that the students of our school board will know how to save lives because of CPR and AED training,” says Mr. François Rochon, Deputy Director General of the Commission scolaire des Samares, “Each school will have an AED that can be used in emergencies.  We would like to thank the Boston Pizza Foundation for its generosity and the ACT Foundation for its implementation.” 

The ACT High School CPR and AED Program is built on ACT’s award-winning community-based model of partnerships and support. ACT raises funds for CPR mannequins, AED mannequins, AED training units, and AEDs for high schools and guides schools in program set-up.

“The Commission scolaire Pierre-Neveu would like to thank the Boston Pizza Foundation for its participation through donating the funds needed for the training resources, the teacher training, and the AEDs for secondary schools,” says Normand Bélanger, General Director, “A student trained may be a life saved.”

“CPR and AED training is completely linked to the mission of the Commission scolaire des Affluents, which is to train youth to make them responsible citizens,” says Yves St-Denis, President of the Commission scolaire des Affluents, “I would like to thank Boston Pizza Foundation whose donation to our schools, with the indispensable implication of our personnel, could save lives.”

“I am very pleased to witness the increasing commitment of the schools in CPR.  Our school boards and our schools have proven their leadership by being able to meet the challenge,” says Laurent Marcoux, médecin-conseil santé publique, Agence de la santé et des services sociaux de Lanaudière, Joliette, Quebec, “This engagement will be as important for the youth as the adults attending these institutions, and lives may be saved with these new technologies.  We now recognize the great benefits of partnerships benefitting the population.”

About 45,000 Canadians experience cardiac arrest each year, 80% outside of hospital, according to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. The simple to use AED can tell when a heart stops beating effectively and delivers an electric shock to help restart the heart. Early defibrillation combined with early CPR can improve cardiac arrest survival rates by up to 50 per cent or more. 

“The Boston Pizza Foundation’s support allows us to enhance the high school CPR program with AED training for students and to outfit schools with AEDs. It’s about education and saving lives.” says ACT Foundation Executive Director Sandra Clarke. 

About the ACT Foundation
The ACT Foundation is a national charitable organization dedicated to establishing CPR as a mandatory program in every Canadian high school. ACT’s health partners who are committed to the program in Quebec and across Canada include AstraZeneca Canada, Bristol-Myers Squibb Canada, Pfizer Canada and sanofi-aventis. The Foundation has already established the CPR program in 80% of Quebec public high schools and in over 1,500 high schools across Canada. More than 1.8 million youth across Canada have been trained in CPR to date. ACT is now adding the AED program to the school CPR initiative. 

About the Boston Pizza Foundation
The Boston Pizza Foundation raises funds for many charities across Canada, including Kids Help Phone, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. Since its inception in 1990, the Boston Pizza Foundation has raised more than $12.1 million through various fundraising initiatives, the money raised supports local, national, and global non-profit organizations, all of which directly improve the health and well-being of children and families. 


Maya Shoucair
Communications, ACT Foundation

Perry Schwartz
Director of Communications, Boston Pizza International