RICHMOND, BC, March 1, 2012 /CNW/ – Boston Pizza guests shared the love this Valentine’s Day through the restaurant’s 20th annual heart-shaped pizza charity event, which raised more than $614,000 for the Boston Pizza Foundation.

The Boston Pizza Foundation raises funds for a variety of local, regional and national charities across Canada, including the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada, Kids Help Phone and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Since 1993, the Boston Pizza Valentine’s Day program has raised more than $4.6 million.

“We are grateful to all of our guests across the country who were hungry to make a difference by enjoying thousands of heart-shaped pizzas in support of the Boston Pizza Foundation,” says Cheryl Treliving, Executive Director of the Boston Pizza Foundation. “With the dedication and hard work of so many at Boston Pizza, we were able to raise over $614,000, the most in the 20 year history of the program.”

On February 14, $1 from the sale of every heart-shaped pizza sold at Boston Pizza’s 345 locations across Canada was donated to the Boston Pizza Foundation. Guests could also share special Valentine’s Day messages with loved ones throughout January and February by purchasing red paper hearts for $2, with all proceeds going directly to the Foundation.

Sharon Wood, President and CEO of Kids Help Phone explains how the Boston Pizza Foundation directly impacts the Kids Help Phone. “We’ve seen a significant increase in call volume and online posts in recent years, and the demand for Kids Help Phone is sometimes greater than our ability to meet it. Absolutely 100 per cent of Boston Pizza’s donation goes toward helping young people dealing with mental or emotional distress. Together, we’re ensuring kids can cope with these overwhelming emotions by continuing to offer access to Kids Help Phone’s professional counsellors 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”

Proceeds from the Boston Pizza Valentine’s Day program help support important type 1 diabetes research. “It is because of organizations like the Boston Pizza Foundation that the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation may one day make a cure for type 1 diabetes a reality,” says Andrew McKee, president and CEO, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Canada. “From establishing a Canadian clinical trial network, to funding ground-breaking research, to offering outreach programs that provide education and support, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation is committed to improving the lives of all people affected by type 1 diabetes.”

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.

About Boston Pizza

Pizza International Inc. is Canada’s No. 1 casual dining brand with more than 340 restaurants in


. Annually,


Pizza serves more than 40 million guests. The company has been recognized as one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies and was named one of Canada’s 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures by Waterstone Human Capital for 2007 and 2008.


Pizza International Inc. is located in


, B.C., and has regional offices in Mississauga, Ont., and Laval, Que.

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