SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Carmen Gonzalez, Liz McMillan, Kevin Jackson

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REPEAT: BMO Announces 2nd Consecutive Year as Presenting Sponsor of Kids Help Phone's Walk So Kids Can Talk

- BMO employees across Canada will walk in support of Kids Help Phone

TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 03/08/14 -- BMO Financial Group has announced its return for a second year as Presenting Sponsor of Kids Help Phone's Walk so Kids Can Talk, Canada's largest walk to support the mental and emotional well-being of children and youth. This year's Walk takes place on Sunday, May 4, 2014, and BMO employees from across Canada will participate. Last year's walk drew almost 9,000 walkers and raised over $3 million for Kids Help Phone.

Kids Help Phone is Canada's leading youth counselling service. A registered charity, Kids Help Phone relies on fundraising events like the Walk so Kids Can Talk to raise the critical funds needed to ensure 24/7/365 service remains available to the 6.5 million(i) young people in Canada. Young people turn to Kids Help Phone's professional counsellors more than 500 times a day to get help and support with problems and questions many educators aren't equipped to answer or with worries parents may not understand.

"Kids Help Phone is delighted to have BMO Financial Group as our Presenting Sponsor of the Walk so Kids Can Talk. The spirit of volunteerism and generosity that BMO employees bring to our event is inspiring and impressive," said Sharon Wood, President and CEO of Kids Help Phone. "This year's Walk focuses on 'Being a Hero' to children and youth across Canada. By supporting our vital services through the Walk, BMO Financial Group is sending a powerful message of solidarity with today's youth."

The five kilometre Walk so Kids Can Talk presented by BMO event is a fun and inspirational opportunity for thousands of kids, adults, families, schools, community organizations and companies to come together in more than 25 communities across Canada. The Walk is Kids Help Phone's flagship fundraising event of the year; it raises a significant portion of the annual revenue needed to keep its valuable free, bilingual, confidential and anonymous, 24-hour telephone and online counselling services available to youth across the country.

"We're thrilled to be the presenting sponsor of the Walk so Kids Can Talk for another year," said Connie Stefankiewicz, Head, North American Channel Strategy and Solutions, BMO Financial Group. "The Walk is a terrific way for BMO employees to get together, have some fun and raise funds within their communities, while supporting an important cause: young people's well-being. We're proud to partner with Kids Help Phone as they help kids become the best they can be."

BMO Financial Group was a founding partner of Kids Help Phone in 1989 and for more than 25 years, BMO and its employees have raised millions of dollars in support of the mental and emotional well-being of children and youth.

For those who are interested in participating in this year's Walk, please visit www.walksokidscantalk.ca.

About Kids Help Phone

Kids Help Phone is a Canadian and world leader, known for its expertise in providing vital, innovative, and professional counselling services to children and youth. Since 1989 it has offered children, teens and young adults in Canada a critical lifeline of hope and support, through its free, anonymous and confidential service. Its professional counsellors support the mental health and well-being of young people ages five to 20, in urban, rural, and remote communities, by providing one-on-one counselling, information and resources online and by phone. The organization's internationally recognized, award-winning websites are considered a model of child-focused interactive design, and offer online counselling forums and engaging, therapeutic games, tools and information to encourage resilience and self-care. As a community-based national charity, it receives no guaranteed ongoing financial support from government or any large funder and relies on community and corporate support to keep its essential service available. Kids Help Phone is there for the 6.5 million(i) young people in Canada, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in English and French.

To learn more about Kids Help Phone, please visit www.kidshelpphone.ca.

About BMO Financial Group

For more than 195 years, BMO Financial Group has believed in community reinvestment and corporate and social responsibility in the communities it serves. In 2013, BMO Financial Group allocated $56 Million (CDN) to registered charities, not-for-profit and community-based organizations and institutions in Canada and the United States

(i)Source: represents the age group Kids Help Phone serves (from 5 to 20) according to Statistics Canada 2012.

Contacts:
Media Contacts:
Kids Help Phone
Elizabeth-Alice Worth, Toronto
(416) 581-8955
[email protected]

BMO Financial Group:
Amanda Robinson, Toronto
(416) 867-3996
[email protected]

Valerie Doucet, Montreal
(514) 877-8224
[email protected]

Laurie Grant, Vancouver
(604) 665-7596
[email protected]

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