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Canadians Select Ladner Storm as the BMO Team of the Week 2012 Champion

Team has chosen the BC Children's Hospital as the recipient of a $5,000 donation from BMO

TORONTO, ONTARIO and LADNER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Sept. 5, 2012) -

Editors Note: There are three photos associated with this press release.

The votes from Canadians have been tallied and today BMO Financial Group announced that the Ladner Storm from Ladner, BC, has been selected as the BMO Team of the Week 2012 Champion.

The title comes with a $125,000 prize towards a field refurbishment, a $5,000 donation to a charity of the team's choosing, plus a trip to see a Toronto FC, Montreal Impact, Vancouver Whitecaps FC or Canadian National Team home game.

The Ottawa Royals Futuro and Winnipeg's Valley Gardens Rockets placed second and third respectively and will receive MLS or Canadian team jerseys for up to 20 members of their team.

"Congratulations to Ladner Storm on becoming the BMO Team of the Week 2012 Champion, a truly remarkable achievement," said Sandy Bourne, Vice-President, Corporate Sponsorships, BMO Financial Group. "It was inspiring to see votes come in from across the country as communities came together in recognition and celebration of youth soccer."

The Storm did extensive outreach to raise awareness and garner votes, including team appearances at local grocery stores, reaching out to local politicians, and putting up posters throughout Ladner.

"It was exciting to be recognized as a finalist, but winning the Championship is an honour that means so much more," said Robb Semler, Head Coach of the Ladner Storm. "A lot of people believed in us and we saw incredible support. This win isn't just for the team and the Ladner Girls Soccer Club, it's for the community, and everyone who had faith in us."

"Thank you to everyone who voted for us, and thank you to BMO for a gift and an experience that will never be forgotten. This prize will go a long way in Ladner," added Semler.

As part of the win, the team has selected the BC Children's Hospital as the recipient of a $5,000 donation from BMO. BC Children's Hospital, an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority, works to provide care for seriously ill or injured children in British Columbia.

The other 14 finalists are:

Monteuil Sparta is an U9 girls team from Laval, QC. During the season, the team works to support Le Club des petits déjeuners du Québec, a program that works to provide kids with a proper breakfast and a good learning environment.

KNSC Boys Lions 2000 are from Kleinburg, ON. The U12 boys team, who have been playing together since age 7, focus all of their philanthropic efforts on Giuliano's Journey, a foundation started within their community that raises money for cancer research at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids).

The U12 Southend United Sharks from London, ON, pride themselves on sportsmanship and make it a core value of the team. In addition to showing respect for each other on the field, the girls work hard to give back to the community. They recently raised $2,500 for Canadian Cancer Society's Relay For Life, also using it as an opportunity to connect with cancer survivors within the community.

Ottawa Royals Futuro U10 Boys are built on a foundation of seven pillars: spiritually grounded; educationally sound; socially confident; mentally sound; physically capable; technical genius; and tactically intelligent. Everything they do, including Cleats For Kids, a drive to collect 1,000 pairs of soccer cleats for underprivileged children in India, is built on those pillars. The Ottawa Royals Futuro U10 Boys were this year's BMO Team of the Week runner up.

The Acme Dragons are a mixed boys and girls U10 team whose most recent community efforts include a local food drive. The proceeds went to hampers that were being distributed throughout their hometown of Acme, AB, to families with limited resources.

Valley Gardens Rockets are a group of U9 girls from Winnipeg, MB, who have been playing together since age 5. And playing soccer isn't all they do; the girls clean up local fields in an effort to keep the community clean. They also participated in the Walk for Muscular Dystrophy in Winnipeg. The Rockets' campaign put them in third place for the BMO Team of the Week 2012 Championship.

The U11 Burnaby Girls Sparks from Burnaby, BC, united as a group of girls who wanted to become better soccer players. And when they weren't enrolling in soccer academies to pick up new skills, the girls were raising money for The Salvation Army's Adopt-A-Family program - they raised $1,000!

When Cornwall, PEI's Eliot River Ramblers U12 Premier girls aren't on the field playing a game, they can be found training younger players. This summer, the team held a BBQ and packed groceries at the local grocery store with all of the proceeds going to the Food Bank.

London, ON's U10 Nor'West Rebels boys are united under Rebels' values: passion for soccer, team pride, confidence and community advocacy. Their recent community efforts have supported London Food Bank, Reforest London Campaign, and Canadian Liver Foundation.

The Lakeshore U10 AA girls are from Montreal, QC. These girls are dynamos on the field as well as in the community. The team recently held a two-week long fundraiser to support a young boy within the community in need of cerebral palsy treatment in South America.

Les Griffons MU-10A du CSMRO is an U11 boys' team from Mont Royal/Outremont, in Montreal, QC. The values of the club and the team itself are put in place to build not only better soccer players, but also better young men. The team is also gearing up to host a group of boys from Haiti and have already raised $25,000 towards the cause so far.

Mooredale Lightning Gold 2000, an U12 boys' team from Toronto, ON, focuses on dominating on the field and giving back to the community. The team started a fund designated to giving financial aid to kids who wanted to play, which has now evolved into Kids in Sports Foundation. The team has raised over $300,000 that will go towards financial aid for youth in sports, as well as building an inner-city sports facility.

The U11 St. Anthony Cachafaz boys from Ottawa, ON have a name that they often live up to - 'Cachafaz' means "rascally" in Spanish! And although they may, at times, be rascally, they give 100% on the field and to those in the community. Each season the team reserves 2-3 spots for children whose families are unable to pay the cost of a season.

Dartmouth, NS's Storm Soccer 12 'C' Boys were victorious in the winter season and have spent this season using what they learned to win even more. Off the field, the U12 boys helped out the local soup kitchen, Feeding Others of Dartmouth (Margaret's House).

About BMO Team of the Week

BMO Team of the Week, now in its second year, is Canada's premier sport celebration at the grassroots level, engaging a nation and inspiring communities by recognizing the members of youth soccer teams who demonstrate team pride, team spirit, community commitment and passion for the game. Fifteen weekly winners were named BMO Team of the Week and entered for a chance to be voted by Canadians as BMO Team of the Week 2012 Champion. The grand prize includes a $125,000 refurbishment of the winning team's community soccer field, a road trip to a Toronto FC, Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Montreal Impact FC, or Canadian National Team home game, plus a $5,000 donation to the team's charity of choice.

BMO Team of the Week Champions to date:
2011: Glen Shields Sun Devils 2000 Girls
2012: Ladner Storm

To view the photos associated with this release, please visit the following links:

For further information:
For media inquiries, please contact:
Beja Rodeck, Toronto
(416) 867-3996

Valérie Doucet, Montreal
(514) 877-8224

Laurie Grant, Vancouver
(604) 665-7596

Twitter: @BMOTOTW