Cycling charity 'Ride for Karen' marks 10th anniversary

-- A Toronto charity, Ride for Karen is an annual bike ride that has raised more than $1.6 million to support kids with cancer --

TORONTO, Sept. 12, 2011 /CNW/ - More than 375 cycling enthusiasts from across Ontario hit the roads north of Toronto on Sunday for the 10th annual Ride for Karen, a charity bike ride that has so far raised more than $1.6 million to help send children with cancer to camp.

One of Ontario's top cycling events, Ride for Karen participants this year raised more than $210,000. Scotiabank sponsored the Ride for Karen, as part of its Scotiabank Bright Future community giving program, providing support and sponsorship for the operation of the event.

"Every year hundreds of Ontarians, including a number of Scotiabank team members, participate in the Ride for Karen to pay tribute to their friends and family who have battled with cancer," says Philip Smith, Managing Director, and Deputy Head of Global Investment Banking. "Through our Scotiabank Bright Future community giving program we are proud to support the Ride for Karen, whose tireless work enriches the lives of so many children with cancer and the families who care for them."

Cycling enthusiasts Kirk and Kris Tobias started the charity after their mother, Karen, passed away after a five-year battle with breast cancer in 2002. The idea for the Ride for Karen started when the brothers got a few friends together for a long bike ride to clear their heads after their loss.

"Our mother was dedicated to improving hope for cancer patients, and the Ride for Karen is a way to build this hope," says Kirk Tobias. "Ride for Karen offers support for people who have been touched by the disease, particularly children, which is why we raise money to give them memorable experiences through recreational activities at camp. Thanks to our presenting sponsor Scotiabank, we are proud that 100% of the money raised every year goes to ensuring young cancer patients have the opportunity to enjoy just being kids."

In Canada, approximately 1,400 children are diagnosed with cancer each year and another 10,000 are already living with cancer or its long-term effects.

"The Ride for Karen is made possible with the support of Scotiabank and the help from dozens of sponsors and volunteers.  Whether it's the local police from York, Peel, South Simcoe and the Ontario Provincial Police who donate their time, or people making sandwiches and baking cookies for participants, the help from the community truly makes this a successful family event," says Tobias.

Ride for Karen featured a century (160km) ride for advanced riders, 100km ride for intermediate riders, 25km ride for recreational riders, and a Kids Fun Ride for children 2-12 years of age.

Participants raised funds through pledges and many dedicated their ride to a child or loved one affected by cancer. In 2011, the recipient charities are Camp Quality Canada, Camp Oochigeas and Camp Trillium.  For more information, please visit www.rideforkaren.com.

About Ride for Karen

Started in 2002, Ride for Karen is an annual cycling event that is held as a tribute to the life and legacy of Karen Tobias and to raise money for charities that help people living with cancer, and those who care for them. In the last decade, Ride for Karen has raised over $1.6 million which has been used to help build and furnish new cancer care facilities, provide much needed resources for cancer support centres and send kids with cancer to camp.

About Scotiabank

Scotiabank is committed to supporting the communities in which we live and work, both in Canada and abroad, through our global philanthropic program, Scotiabank Bright Future.  Recognized as a leader internationally and among Canadian corporations for our charitable donations and philanthropic activities, Scotiabank has provided on average approximately $44 million annually to community causes around the world over each of the last five years. Visit us at www.scotiabank.com.

SOURCE Scotiabank

For further information:

Deborah Clark
Scotiabank Media Communications
416-933-0646
Deborah_clark@scotiacapital.com

Laura Arlabosse-Stewart / Liz Christiansen
416-203-2223
lstewart@paradigmpr.calchristiansen@paradigmpr.ca


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