Source: Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services

Holiday Dinner Delivers

OTTAWA, Dec. 07, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- As families come together this holiday season, some Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members and their families will be separated due to the deployment of Canadian troops around the world.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

After hearing about their situation, Mr. Rick Ekstein, a Canadian businessperson and active member of the Jewish community from Thornhill Ontario, and his wife Lillian, decided to make a leadership gift to Support Our Troops. This contribution will help boost the morale and welfare of approximately 1,406 CAF members currently deployed overseas and their families. The families will receive supermarket $50 gift cards to help cover the cost of food during the holiday season.  Troops deployed overseas will enjoy pure Canadian maple syrup with their Christmas breakfast.

“The significant kindness and support from Canadians for our troops has been touching and overwhelming. Because of contributions from generous donors such as the Eksteins, Support Our Troops can help deployed members and their loved ones ease the burden of separation during the holiday season.  On behalf of Canadian Forces personnel everywhere I would like to sincerely thank Mr. and Mrs. Ekstein for their very generous gift to our troops and their families,”  –Commodore Sean N. Cantelon, Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services for the Canadian Armed Forces.

Recognizing the sacrifices that deployed personnel and their families make on behalf of all Canadians, the Eksteins were moved to give back.   

“In speaking to some of the families whose spouses are serving overseas, we realize the difficulty they and their children face being without their loved one during the holiday season,” said Rick Ekstein.  “Lillian and I wanted to do something to say thank you to the families back home.  It is because of their support that their spouse is able to fulfil their duty to Canada abroad.  We wanted to make this small gesture to say thank you to the families and recognize their contribution to the success of our missions overseas.”

Support Our Troops helps to translate the generous contributions of Canadians into valuable morale and welfare programs and services for the whole CAF community such as financial assistance, grants for special needs, camp programs for children, scholarships, support for the ill and injured, and hospital comforts.  

The Eksteins hope their spontaneous gesture will encourage other Canadians to donate to Support Our Troops to benefit eligible military families over next year’s holiday season. Visit and look for "Holiday Dinner Fund" under "Give Support".  

About the Ekstein Family – Thornhill residents Rick and Lillian Ekstein are first generation Canadians who are proud to live in Canada.  Rick is President and CEO of Phaze3 Management, CEO of Weston Forest Products and sits on various boards including the Queen’s York Rangers Regimental Council.

About Support Our TroopsSupport Our Troops is an official qualified donee of Her Majesty in right of Canada for the Canadian Armed Forces community; managed and operated by Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services.

It was established to meet the unique needs and special challenges faced by members of the Canadian Armed Forces community as a result of military service. It provides a platform to allow a range of supporters to show their care, compassion and support to serving members, veterans and their families.

This fund relies on proceeds from individual and corporate donations, community groups, the sale of Yellow Ribbon merchandise, and proceeds from third-party fundraising events such as Army Run, Navy Run, Air Force Run, and more.

For more information please contact:

Christine Meyer
Senior Manager, Strategic Communications
Corporate Services Division | Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services
T: 613-992-1879 | BB: 343-998-1190 |