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November 23, 2004

SaskEnergy's 11 year-old Recycling Project Becomes a Legacy

In a community-minded move, SaskEnergy today handed over its highly successful 11 year-old warm clothing program, the SaskEnergy Share the Warmth Recycling Project, to the citizens of Saskatchewan. The move is aimed at creating a legacy of giving through "official permanent Share the Warmth depots" around the province and an awards program for schools that remain involved with the project.

SaskEnergy started the Recycling Project in 1994, running it as a one-day project in Regina collecting clothing from the public in malls across the city. That first year the project collected 20,000 warm clothing items, or "warm fuzzies," which were distributed to people in need with the assistance of the Regina United Way.

Since then, the project has taken on a provincial presence and has collected 750,000 warm fuzzies. SaskEnergy has also won provincial and national awards for the project, including the prestigious 'New Spirit of Community Award' from Imagine Canada in 2000.

"The SaskEnergy Share the Warmth Recycling Project has been an integral part of our community investment program at SaskEnergy for the last 11 years," said Leslie Gosselin, Manager of Advertising and Community Relations, SaskEnergy. "However, we are also a socially responsible and community-minded company. This year SaskEnergy recognized that the Recycling Project does not belong to just us anymore. This project has become larger than any one company, and it now belongs to the citizens of this province - for they are the real reason the project has been so successful for 11 years. So, today is an exciting and historic day for SaskEnergy because a project that we created will become a legacy project for the people of the province - both for those who give and for those in need."

This year, 100,000 sweaters, toques, mittens, scarves and blankets were donated and distributed throughout the province. Donations can still be dropped off at the Regina Food Bank, the first "official permanent Share the Warmth depot" in Saskatchewan, located at 2201 - 1st Avenue, Regina.

"The Share the Warmth program has spread a great deal of warmth throughout the province since its inception," said Wayne Hellquist, CEO, Regina & District Food Bank. "We applaud SaskEnergy for their innovation and for caring about those throughout the province who receive warm clothing items. The Regina & District Food Bank is pleased to become the first official permanent Share the Warmth depot in the province and we will endeavor to carry on the tradition of the program. Becoming an official permanent Share the Warmth depot also fits with the mandate of the Food Bank, which focuses on helping those in need in many ways possible in addition to the provision of food."

Since 1997, important participants of the Recycling Project across the province have been schools. To keep schools involved in this important project, SaskEnergy will combine participating schools' efforts with its new annual Global Youth Service Day Awards. To this end, SaskEnergy has designated Thom Collegiate in Regina as its 'Champion School' to lead the project into the Centennial year.

"Thom Collegiate was the first school on board with the Share the Warmth Recycling Project in 1997 and we're proud to be the Champion School for the project as we move into the province's Centennial," said Paulette Hubbs, one of the teacher organizers of the project at Thom Collegiate. "SaskEnergy is an outstanding community citizen and our staff and students think creating a legacy for the province out of the Recycling Project is not only a brilliant idea, but a corporately responsible one as well. We know first-hand how much time and effort it takes to organize just one school and a few thousand sweaters. Imagine over 450 schools and groups donating a total of 100,000 sweaters every year to sort and distribute! SaskEnergy has truly been amazing taking on this project year after year."

Over the next year, SaskEnergy will be approaching community organizations across the province to become "official permanent Share the Warmth depots." To become involved as a depot, or to learn more about the program, visit: www.saskenergy.com or call the SaskEnergy Share the Warmth line toll free at 1-866-409-9770.

For further information, please contact:

Candace Weimer
Communications Co-ordinator
SaskEnergy Corporate Affairs
(306)777-9048
 

Wayne Hellquist
CEO
Regina & District Food Bank
(306)791-6533