Media Advisory/Photo opp - The Becel Heart&Stroke Ride for Heart is just a month away. Join us today for the launch of Ride season at YD Square in Toronto at noon.

TORONTO, May 1, 2014 /CNW/ - The 27th annual Becel Heart&Stroke Ride for Heart is just over a month away, and the excitement is building. To launch the bike season "with heart," the Heart and Stroke Foundation is inviting the public and the media to a special kick-off event.

Where:            Yonge-Dundas Square in downtown Toronto

When:             Thursday, May 1, 12 noon to 1 p.m.

What:              A festive street-front event with a photo op, showcasing supporters, sponsors, and health-related booths. See demonstrations of CPR and the use of the automated external defibrillator (AED). A free Blood Pressure Clinic will be conducted by three First Health Nurses. Enjoy a corn roast, courtesy of Becel®. PowerWatts will be supplying state-of-the-art stationary bikes for the event and Vitess will display a very special custom-made bike for the Heart and Stroke Foundation, weighing in at less than 12 pounds, to be won by a lucky VIP Rider. 

Here's a unique opportunity for attendees, survivors, celebrities – including Olympic cyclist Curt Harnett – and the master riders to "compete" against each other side by side. As a partner with the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Wheels of Bloor/Graywood Developments Racing Team is providing PowerWatts training bikes, fitted with power measurement used to evaluate cycling performance. The bikes are attached to a large video screen with a score board that measures the rider's performance. Participants can cycle to high-energy music while challenging one another.

Who:               Olympic cyclist Curt Harnett and 25-year-old former NHL player and CPR/AED survivor Brett Maclean, plus other survivors: Dave Allingham (Hamilton), Sheryl Gill (Oakville), Bailey Bernknopf (Thornhill), with her mother, Kerry (representing Team Bailey), Nikki Martyn-Capobianco (Toronto) (all available for interviews).

Help Us Reach Our Goal
Our goal for 2014 is to raise $6 million dollars. The funds you raise will support world-class research, health promotion and advocacy. Every dollar you donate or raise for the Ride for Heart helps create more survivors. A maximum of 14,000 cyclists are allowed to participate. To register, call 416-486-RIDE (7433) or visit www.rideforheart.ca. The Ride sold out early last year – sign up today.

SOURCE Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario

For further information: Media Contacts: DIANE HARGRAVE, 416-826-5911, dhprbks@interlog.com; Teresa Roncon, Heart Stroke Foundation, 416-937-5307, troncon@hsf.on.ca