Toronto

Canada Strong campaign raises $3.29M for families of victims of downed plane in Iran

A national campaign has raised more than $1.79 million for family members of those killed when a Ukrainian airlines flight was shot down over Iran in early January, officials announced on Sunday.

Total includes$1.79M raised by campaign, $1.5M matched by federal government

Mohamad Fakih, CEO of Paramount Fine Foods, who launched the Canada Strong campaign, said in a tweet: 'You did this, Canada! It's been one of the greatest privileges of my life to see community after community step forward to support our own. Thank you!' (Michael Wilson/CBC)

A national campaign has raised $3.29 million for family members of those killed when a Ukrainian airlines flight was shot down over Iran in early January, officials announced on Sunday.

Mohamad Fakih, CEO of Paramount Fine Foods, said the Canada Strong campaign raised $1.79 million over five weeks, surpassing the original goal of $1.5 million, and the federal government matched donations up to a maximum of $1.5 million. 

"You did this, Canada!" Fakih said in a tweet. "It's been one of the greatest privileges of my life to see community after community step forward to support our own. Thank you!"

On Jan. 8, Iranian military forces brought down Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752, killing 176 people. Fifty-seven of those who died were Canadian citizens, while dozens of others were bound for Canada.

Fakih made the announcement at the Persian Palace in Richmond Hill, Ont., flanked by Toronto Mayor John Tory, Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie and Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown, among others.

Shortly after the plane was shot down, Fakih created the Canada Strong campaign in the hopes of helping the families of the 57 victims with expenses.

All donations from the campaign will go to the Toronto Community Foundation to help the families cover funeral costs. Donors will receive a tax receipt for their donations.

now