Toronto, ON (PRWEB) September 1, 2009
October 5-9 is Feeding Toronto's Hungry Students' Week and one local business owner is set to contribute in a very unique and spectacular way. On October 10th, Conor Kelly, of TransformForever.com, will attempt to pull an approximately 40 feet long, fully loaded school bus in Yonge-Dundas Square with only the strength of his muscles to raise money and awareness for programs that assist starving students in Toronto region schools.
Kelly, a former competitive strength athlete, says he was inspired by students of The Crescent School on Bayview. "I was asked to be a guest speaker for their class presentation on malnourished youth in Toronto's schools," he explains, "their talk really opened my eyes to the enormity of the problem, and need for greater awareness." He then contacted the Toronto Foundation For Student Success (TFSS), the charitable arm of the Toronto District School Board, and they were thrilled to receive the support of this exciting event.
According to TFSS, 1 in 3 Toronto children live in poverty. This astoundingly high statistic means that 68% of students do not have breakfast every day, and 21% never do. What's worse is that along with missing breakfast 54% of students in Toronto don't have lunch on a daily basis.
"It's interesting to me that as a community, we're very generous when it comes to helping people in other parts of the world, but sometimes miss what's happening in our own backyard," says Kelly.
TFSS, which works with community partners to fund and run breakfast and nutritional programs, hopes to raise over $30,000 during the week long event. "I want to be able to draw attention to this issue in the biggest way possible, and what's more attention grabbing than a guy pulling a huge fully loaded school bus?" says Kelly who believes that pulling the school bus is symbolic of the challenges faced by TFSS in trying to feed 90,000 children every year.
Kelly has successfully completed the feat before, however, "that was a long time ago," he says, "and when I was approximately 40 pounds heavier." There is also a lot more at stake this time. Although he is a 4-time Ontario Strongest Man finalist, Kelly, standing at an average height of 5'7" and weighing a lean 190lbs, has to prepare his body and rally for support from Torontonians for a critical community issue.
Working along with TFSS, Kelly hopes to attract Toronto's most influential and popular names to lend their support. "The lack of proper nutrition can lead to behavioural problems and prevent kids from getting the most out of their education," he emphasizes, "our efforts can make a significant difference in the lives of these children and that's why I'm asking everyone, even Mayor David Miller, to come out and show their support."
Dubbed "Pulling For The Hungry," the Saturday event will include fun activities for the whole family, including contests, giveaways, and maybe even chances to have a seat on the bus. Kelly and the TFSS are looking for sponsors and media support as well as donations. Those interested in pledging support or learning more can find more information at http://www.PullingForTheHungry.com
"We want to make it memorable, empowering and of course, entertaining. It's going to literally be 'man against steel' with an important message. I want kids to see that great things can be achieved if you put your mind to it. I also want Torontonians to get together and support initiatives like TFSS because it should be everyone's responsibility."