The MUZIK Celebrity Classic Children's Festival took place today in Toronto across from MUZIK's location on the grounds of the CNE to celebrate kids, basketball and promote programs like Crime Stoppers.
Today local kids had a chance to play basketball on the refurbished courts at the foot of Dufferin Street and Exhibition Place. The event was supported by Zlatko Starkovski, president of Muzik, Exhibition Place, Toronto Police Services, Toronto Fire Services, Solutions With Impact and Crime Stoppers.
On stage MuchMusic RapCity's host T-RexXx and TSN Sport Centre Cabbie hosted the events from the center stage. Along with hoops contests there was a celebrity basketball games featuring local sports stars like Jay Triano and Sonny Weems(Toronto Raptors), comedian Gerry Dee, Stereos (recording artists) Damon Allen (CFL) and actors Luke Bilyk, Daniel Kelly and Twilight's Kiowa Gordon and Bronson Pelltier.
Local kids and their parents and community leaders joined in the fun playing on the courts, in jumping games and feasting on a variety of free food from places like Wimpie's and Pizza Pizza.
The event is part of the city and local businesses working to build bridges between kids and the police. For some of the parents today who are new to Canada the experience showed them a side of Toronto that gladdened their hearts. For some community leaders the experience was one that they want to come to their areas in the city.
Donn is a youth leader in the Rexdale area. He said that he hopes that through connections he made today he can bring this kind of event to his community's children and youth. He and another youth worker brought ten youngsters with them today. Donn smiled as he went off to join his group saying that programs like Crime Stoppers can help change the way kids view the police.
"We need these programs in Toronto!"
For people like Lorne Smith, Crime Stoppers, these programs not only promote their cause they help bridge a gap that will pay off in the future. When kids see that the community is behind them they want to help their community be as safe as it can be.