Monday, 24 March 2008

Variety Village

Variety, a pet fundraising project for George Gross since the 1980s, has posted an In Memoriam for the Toronto Sun's founding sports editor.

"When George Gross put his name to a cause, he embraced it with a passion," says Variety. "Variety Village was a cause near to his heart and benefitted from the rewards of his generosity for over 24 years.

"George consistently used his position as a public figure not only to raise funds for Variety, but to spread the word of our mission. His support went beyond numbers and dollars raised; George Gross was a true champion of Variety."

George, whose annual Variety Village Christmas Fund via Sun readers helped raise more than $1.1 million, would be delighted to hear donations in his name are being made in lieu of flowers.

As would the late, great Doug Creighton, a Toronto Sun co-founder whose inspiration for the annual Christmas fund got the ball rolling in 1984.

Variety says "If you would like to make a memorial donation to Variety in honour of George Gross, please click here or call Allison Staffmann at 416-367-2828 ex 244.

Donald Duench, a Sun sports staffer, and his wife, Ruth, will be among the Variety Village donors, as noted in an e-mail to TSF:

"We lost a legend in George Gross on Friday, but so did the people at Variety Village," says Donald. "George has been a champion for them for many years. During the weekend, my wife Ruth and I were talking about the void that Variety Village will have in fundraising . . ."

What to do? Donald says his wife, a Tupperware saleswoman who lists George among her customers, will be donating her sales commissions for this full week in "remembrance of George Gross and in appreciation of his efforts to Variety Village."

Excellent. We are confident many others will be finding ways to honour George.

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