Topper's Pizza stores across Ontario are lending their support to the Elliot Lake Relief Fund as a way to help Elliot Lake, Ontario, residents and community members affected by the collapse of the Algo Centre Mall roof collapse in June, which killed two people and left hundreds unemployed.

In addition to encouraging donations to the relief fund on its online ordering site at www.topperspizza.ca, the chain is collecting in-store donations at locations throughout Ontario. Individual fundraising efforts also were held in Sudbury and Elliot Lake, Ontario.

"Our company's roots are in Northern Ontario so this tragedy hits close to home for us," said Keith Toppazzini, president of Topper's Pizza Franchising Company Inc., which owns the Topper's Pizza brand. "Supporting the relief fund is one way to let them know our thoughts are with them."

For a limited time, 16 Topper's Pizza stores located across Barrie, Maple, Nepean, North Bay, Orleans, St. Thomas, Garson, Timmins, Sudbury, and Barrie will be requesting a $1 donation toward the relief fund at the time of purchase. The fundraising effort will run for a period of two weeks.

Earlier this month, Topper's Pizza teamed with The Sudbury Star and Surface Design & Decor Inc. to sponsor a three-hour pizza lunch outside the Topper's store on Lasalle Boulevard in Sudbury, raising $3,300 for the relief effort. Topper's Pizza in Elliot Lake, owned and operated by Ruth and Bernie Neveu, also pitched in with its own fundraising effort.

Topper's Pizza started out in Elliot Lake as a corporate store in the Algo Centre Mall in 1986. Three years later, the Neveus took over as franchisees, eventually relocating to Hillside plaza in 1998 where the pizza business remains today.

"Elliot Lake was one of our first franchise locations to open," said Topper's Chairman and CEO Kelly Toppazzini. "As a company, we strongly believe in giving back to our community, especially when help is so desperately needed."

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