Poz, Messier among Conn Smythe supporters

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Buffalo Bills linebacker Paul Posluszny joined an elite list of celebrities and approximately 1,000 guests at the 60th annual Rogers Conn Smythe Sports Celebrities Dinner and Auction in Toronto on February 2, 2010.

The Rogers Conn Smythe Sports Celebrities Dinner & Auction marks the launch of Easter Seals Ontario's annual fundraising campaign as well as the introduction of the 2011 Provincial Easter Seals Ambassadors.  The ambassadors are 12-year-olds Jacob Causley-Wilkins and Marianna Figueiredo.

Posluszny joined a head table consisting of Jim Barker, Russ Courtnall, EDGE, John Farrell, Bob Gainey, Doug Gilmour, Angela James, Michael Johnson, Peter Mahovlich, Mark Messier, Dion Phaneuf and Greg Westlake, a member of the gold medal Paralympic Winter Games Sledge Hockey team.

"We are grateful for the support of Rogers, the celebrities and everyone who takes part in this incredible evening," says Hockey Night in Canada's Scott Morrison, dinner committee chair and Easter Seals' board member.  "It's about the kids, helping to give children with physical disabilities independence and freedom."

There are over 20,000 children, youth and young adults in Ontario with a physical disability.  Since 1922, Easter Seals Ontario has been helping these children achieve a greater level of acceptance and independence.

Families rely on Easter Seals to help purchase expensive equipment needed for mobility and communication, send kids to camp and other recreational programs, and provide access to information and resources.  At the core of Easter Seals is a common passion for caring, shared by its staff and thousands of volunteers, and by those who support its mission.  This heart-felt desire to serve children, youth and young adults with physical disabilities and their families is what Easter Seals is all about.

"Over the past 60 years, The Rogers Conn Smythe Dinner has truly become a time-honored Easter Seals tradition and one of our most successful events," says Carol Lloyd, Easter Seals Ontario president and CEO. "Our ability to serve children and youth with physical disabilities for the past 88 years is largely dependent on the generosity of our corporate sponsors, such as Rogers, and individuals, who give so generously."

The Conn Smythe event provides a portion of their ticket sales to Easter Seals and to date, the event has raised over $6.8 million for kids with disabilities.

By providing financial assistance, Easter Seals helps ease the financial burden on families so that children with physical disabilities are able to get the equipment they need to achieve a greater level of independence. Easter Seals Ontario also owns and operates two fully accessible camps and is recognized as an industry leader in providing specialized recreation programs for kids with physical disabilities.

For more information or to donate, call 416.421.8377 or go to www.connsmythedinner.com.

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