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Roots and Canadian Blood Services Partner for Social Change
Launch Cause-Related, Branded Merchandise

Ottawa, September 28, 2005 – Roots and Canadian Blood Services have partnered for a social change campaign to encourage Canadians to share their vitality and donate blood on a regular basis. Canadian Olympic gold medalist Adam van Koeverden was accompanied by Emmy Duff, a cancer survivor and blood recipient to help launch this initiative. As part of this campaign, Canadian Blood Services and Roots Canada have released a new line of cause-related merchandise to celebrate those who support Canada’s blood system and to encourage Canadians not yet engaged in blood donation to join the movement and become regular blood donors.

"It's my pleasure to be here with Roots, and to offer my support in this initiative to encourage Canadians to donate blood. It's an amazing opportunity to give something that money can truly not buy, life," says Adam van Koeverden, Olympic champion in kayaking.

Emmy Duff, a sixteen-year-old cancer survivor and blood recipient from Toronto, is living proof of the good one can do through blood donation. “Throughout these past nine years of Leukemia treatment, I have received many blood products; too many to count,” says Duff. “If you ask me how important it is for me to receive blood products when I need them, I would have a simple answer: I would not be here today telling you my story if I did not get them.”

To heighten awareness of the need for donors, and help other people like Emmy, Canadian Blood Services will be promoting the Roots merchandise at all donor clinics, and on its Web site. The items will feature the Canadian Blood Services logo and the tag line What’s Your Type? This tag line comes from a highly successful recruitment program that provides participants with their blood type and educates them of the need for donors of all types. The intent of this provocative teaser/awareness campaign is to have donors, volunteers and staff tell anyone who asks, that they are “the type that saves lives.” While sporting a stylish look, those who purchase this merchandise will be assisting in more ways than one; they’ll be helping create awareness, and they’ll be supporting efforts to recruit more donors, since a portion of the proceeds from sales will go to the Canadian Blood Services Foundation.

“Earlier this month, it was reported that at some point in their lives more than half of all Canadians will need blood for themselves or their families, yet less than four per cent actually donate blood,” says Robert Sarner, Director of Communication and Public Affairs of Roots Canada. “We’re pleased to partner with Canadian Blood Services on this awareness campaign which I am confident will get Canadians thinking about the vital need for blood donation and encourage them to become lifelong regular donors.”

The decision to partner with Roots was based on much more than the high quality merchandise they provide. “We want blood donation to become part of the fabric of the Canadian way of life,” says Steve Harding, Executive Director of Marketing and Communications at Canadian Blood Services. “Therefore it was logical for us to partner with a Canadian icon like Roots, whose reputation and commitment to making the world a better place make them excellent partner for Canadian Blood Services.”

“Some people wear their emotions on their sleeves. We invite Canadians who have been touched by the blood system to wear their cause on their sleeves,” says Harding. “We encourage our donors, volunteers, staff and other Canadians far and wide who have been touched by the blood system to support this initiative and become the type that saves lives.”

This limited edition What’s your type? merchandise is available exclusively on the Canadian Blood Services e-store. Canadians who are interested in becoming blood donors and “the type that saves lives” are encouraged to contact Canadian Blood Services at 1 888 2 DONATE (1 888 236-6283) for blood donor clinic information, eligibility information or to book an appointment. Your donation has the power to help improve or save the lives of three people.

About Canadian Blood Services
Canadian Blood Services is a national, not-for-profit charitable organization that manages the blood supply in all provinces and territories outside of Quebec and oversees the country's Unrelated Bone Marrow Donor Registry. Canadian Blood Services operates 41 permanent collection sites and more than 19,000 donor clinics annually. The Provincial and Territorial Ministers of Health provide operational funding to Canadian Blood Services. The federal government, through Health Canada, is responsible for regulating the blood system. For more information, please visit our Web site at www.bloodservices.ca.

About Roots Canada Limited
Roots is Canada’s leading lifestyle brand known around the world for its wide range of quality leather goods, apparel and accessories. Starting in 1973 as a tiny store in Toronto selling the Roots Negative Heel Shoe, Roots now has more than 125 stores in Canada and the United States along with 20 locations in Asia. In addition, Roots has a state-of-the art leather goods factory and design centre in Toronto.

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For more information, please contact:

Ron Vezina
Promotional Media Room Manager
Canadian Blood Services
(613) 739-2538
(613)293-4558 (cell)
maureen.hartigan@blood.ca

Robert Sarner
Director of Communication & Public Affairs
Roots Canada
(416) 781-3574, ext. 4280
rsarner@roots.com

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