Board Game Benefits Kids
Sometimes, it’s more than just a game.
Anyone who buys the Monopoly: Toronto Edition board game is helping young people connect to positive police-led mentoring programs from sports to arts to job training.
ProAction Cops & Kids, is one of 11 organizations benefitting from sales of the special edition board game.
Deputy Chief Rob Johnson said he owns five Monopoly editions himself, enjoying the strategy behind the game, but this version is extra special because everyone wins.
“It helps to enhance and build relationships between the police and the communities they serve and that assists in giving the youths involved some life skills as well as some aspirations to form some true bonds with our members,” Johnson said, as he sat down to play Gordon A. Brown middle School students who were promoting the game.
Students Eli Landon, Cayden Nagy and Khloe Coucoularis represented the Youth Becoming Leaders basketball program co-ordinated by 55 Division Constables Damion Creighton and Harry Bustos.
“When they said they wanted some kids to come down to headquarters and meet the Deputy Chief and play the game, these kids put up their hands,” said Creighton, who is an O’Connor-Parkview Neighbourhood Community Officer.
ProAction Cops & Kids has funded their basketball program the last eight years.
“We provide a House League type program, but we didn’t stop there,” said Bustos, who is in his Division’s Major Crime Unit. “With assistance from City of Toronto outreach workers, we gave them a sense of brotherhood, leadership and resume-building skills and First Aid training.”
Young people between the ages of 12 and 17 participate in the Friday night program.
The Monopoly Toronto Edition board game is licensed by Hasbro.
“This is a limited edition and the authentic version of Toronto Monopoly,” said ProAction Cops & Kids Executive Director Jean Milligan. “If we sell all the games, it is the biggest fundraiser for ProAction and many of the other charities,” said Milligan.
The game is also benefitting 10 other charities including the United Way Greater Toronto, Jays Care Foundation and Camp Fire Circle.
The classic board game features many of the most iconic Toronto brands, venues and destinations.
“Everything is Toronto specific,” said Milligan. “The cards are all Toronto. You have snowstorms, pot holes and transit delays.”
The game costs $69.99 plus tax.
It can be purchased through monopolytorontoedition.com.
Since its inception in 1991, ProAction Cops & Kids has been the largest private funder of Toronto Police programs for young people.
ProAction Cops and Kids President Stephen Kouri said the idea to create a Toronto version of the game was brought forward by a council member who had a friend that created the Ottawa version that is the only other official version of Monopoly in Canada.
In the last 32 years, ProAction Cops and Kids has distributed nearly $9 million to support police-led programs that have benefitted over 430,000 young people.