I Luv London board game spotlights city

This holiday season, the Big Brothers Big Sisters of London and Area have designed a-one-of-a-kind product that will make a perfect Christmas gift for anyone on your list. They have created a custom-made, Monopoly-style board game completely based on the actual city of London, Ontario!

Featuring real London businesses that are easily recognizable to any native Londoner, the whole board is laid out to represent the city with familiar stores and notable landmarks. The idea originally came from a similar project in Windsor.

A team of talented and dedicated volunteers worked for one year and sold every one of the “real estate” spots to local businesses. Sheila O'Neill, of Big Brothers Big Sisters of London, credits the volunteers for the success of this year's fundraising project.

“We have a very strong volunteer base, we've been very lucky with the calibre of volunteers we have working with us,” she said.

In exchange for purchasing a space on the game board, each business has received a unique advertising space that will live on in rec rooms and game nights for years to come.

“The local businesses have been great partners. The support received from the companies that advertised has been tremendous,” said Sheila O'Neill, of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of London & Area.

Major sponsors of the project include Wendy's Restaurant, Farhi Holdings Corporation, Libro Financial Group, Siskinds, Canadian Auto Workers Union Local 302, Marble Slab Creamery and Fusion Homes.

Thanks to the generous donations from each of the participating businesses, the cost of producing the game was 100 per cent covered, meaning that 100 per cent of the proceeds earned from the sale of the board games will be returned to the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of London and Area.

“It's nice to have a project that promotes family activities and the value of family time,” said O'Neill, “It's all about turning off the computer and sitting down with your family and a board game.”

The I Luv London game is an excellent gift for those hard-to-buy-for people. Grandparents, neighbours and teachers will appreciate the familiarity and education involved in the game. It's also a great game to bring to relatives from out of town when you go home for the holidays!

Only a limited number of board games were produced, but there should be enough for everyone to get their copy this Christmas. The game can be purchased at the Toy Shoppe of London, Libro Financial Group bank branches and at Canadian Tire locations throughout the city. I Luv London retails for $34.99.

The funds raised from this huge project will go towards finding a new residence for the Big Brothers and Big Sisters programs. Until this year, the Big Brothers and Big Sisters were located separately in two different locations in London. Last year, the two services merged and are now searching for a suitable new place to call home.

The organization is hoping to find a new location with improved recreational areas so they can offer more space and improve programming.

For over 30 years, the Big Brothers Big Sisters of London & Area has offered mentoring services for children and youth ages five to 18. Their programs create meaningful partnerships between each child and a selected mentor. These role models help to provide direction and guidance to families and individuals who need extra support. The relationships that are built through the Big Brothers and Big Sisters programs foster the development of healthy self-esteem and help to improve attitudes towards education and a brighter future.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of London and Area operate many helpful programs everyday. Their services are supported by generous donations and tireless fundraising efforts throughout the year.