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Mark DeMontis Greets the Queen
(Ernest Doruzuk/Toronto Sun)
Mark DeMontis Greets the Queen (Ernest Doruzuk/Toronto Sun)

Courage Canada Founder, Mark DeMontis honored to Greet the Queen

Sean Mitton, Canadian Expat Network
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Courage Canada Founder, Mark DeMontis received an interesting call from his publicist about a month ago. The Federal Government had contacted her with an interesting request. Would DeMontis be interested in presenting Her Majesty the Queen with flowers at Queen's Park in Toronto July 6th? Without hesitation or asking Demontis for that matter, she said absolutely.

At the age of 21, DeMontis founded Courage Canada, a national, registered charity with the goal to implement hockey schools for blind and visually-impaired youth across Canada. The following year in 2009, DeMontis ambitiously launched the organization by in-line skating from his hometown Toronto across five provinces and 5,000 kilometers to Vancouver to raise funds and awareness for his cause. DeMontis's "Quest to the West" gained local and national media attention along the way, appearing on CBC's Hockey Night in Canada and Global National with Kevin Newman. The campaign raised over $60,000 and was sponsored by Ottawa Senators' owner Eugene Melnyk and organizations such as the NHL, Reebok, Tim Horton's and Rogers.

"I was a little nervous, I didn't know what to expect, DeMontis recalls. I also wanted to make sure I got the protocols correct."

DeMontis shared that he was honored even to be considered for such an opportunity and it was a moment he will always cherish. "This opportunity certainly motivates me to keep motivating others, he states.

Courage Canada continues to promote visually impaired hockey events for youth and adults and is planning his second in-line skating quest, by skating from Halifax to Toronto next fall.

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