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Whitecaps FC Rally Vancouver to Help Save the Vancouver Aquarium

April 24, 2020 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Vancouver Whitecaps FC News Release

VANCOUVER, BC - Vancouver Whitecaps FC and Vancouver Aquarium have joined forces to sell high-performance athletic face masks, with all net proceeds to benefit the aquarium during this critical period of need for the beloved civic landmark. As part of this partnership, more than 25 'Caps staff members are volunteering in the rescue effort, providing hundreds of labour hours in vital outreach efforts to Vancouver Aquarium members, donors, and supporters.

Last week, Ocean Wise Conservation Association, which operates the Vancouver Aquarium, issued a call for urgent support as the educational, environmental, and conservation institution is in danger of permanent closure after closing their doors to the public in March to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

"It is devastating to imagine that the Vancouver Aquarium may cease to exist, but that is the reality we are fighting against. We have done everything in our power to reduce costs, but we still have more than 70,000 animals that need expert care," said Lasse Gustavsson, Ocean Wise president and CEO. "We are so grateful to have an organization like the Whitecaps reach out to offer their support and mobilize to create an initiative like this so quickly."

"From our ownership group on down, the Whitecaps exist to unite and inspire our community," added Mark Pannes, Whitecaps FC CEO. "We understand how important this beloved institution, the Vancouver Aquarium, is not only to our city and province but also to the country. We also know the club occupies a special role in our city and when we can rally Vancouver to protect such a civic asset, we must. It truly does take a village in a crisis like this, and importantly we are producing the masks locally to support local manufacturers and workers. We ask all Vancouverites, who are able, to join us in this campaign to save the Vancouver Aquarium. We know our community is up to the task."

The high-quality face masks sport special designs, drawing inspiration from the 'Caps crest and the Vancouver Aquarium. With a soft spun polyester lining close to the skin, it can be worn for long periods of time with no irritation and makes use of double needle stitched binding for comfort and durability. Performance-wicking and made with 100 per cent polyester, it also features white piping that gives a visual indication when it's time to wash the face mask.

"We're thrilled to be a part of this initiative with the Whitecaps to help our aquarium," said Mark Trotzuk, Alliance Mercantile Inc./Boardroom Clothing vice president. "These face masks are breathable, washable, re-usable, and are Canadian made, right here in the Lower Mainland. Most importantly, using these face masks will ensure we are reserving medical masks and N95 respirators for our health care workers."

The face masks, which come in different sizes and designs, are available for order on the Vancouver Aquarium website by visiting vanaquashop.org and whitecapsfc.com. Adult masks are available for $19.99 and kid's masks for $17.99, plus tax and shipping. All net proceeds from the sales will benefit the Vancouver Aquarium.


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