The 16th RBC Challenge for Centraide raises a record $180,000

Some 500 professional and amateur athletes race up the stairs of Place Ville Marie to brighten lives

MONTREAL, Nov. 20, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - A group of international-caliber athletes competed against 500 valiant Montrealers this noon during the 16th annual RBC Challenge for Centraide, a relay race up the 1,000 steps to the top of the 41-storey Place Ville Marie tower. A record of generosity was achieved by this benefit contest, which raised $180,000, or $47,000 more than last year, to help the most vulnerable.

The race pitted teams of employees from various corporations against a dream team of top athletes, who generously agreed to take up the challenge in order to motivate the runners and encourage them to surpass themselves. The athletes, who included snowboarder Caroline Calvé (3rd on World Cup circuit), kayaker Hugues Fournel (7th at London Olympics), freestyle skier Marc-Antoine Gagnon (5th at 2012 World Cup) and para-cyclist Marie-Claude Molnar (bronze medallist at London Olympics), were captained by Mikaël Kingsbury, freestyle skiing world champion and Olympic hopeful for the Sochi 2014 Winter Games.

The goal was to break the existing record, set in 2003, by racing to the top of the tower in less than 2 minutes 41 seconds. It was not broken today as the best time recorded, by a team of employees from RBC, was 2 minutes 44 seconds. The team of athletes came in second place, with a time of 3 minutes 7 seconds.

All the proceeds, derived from corporate sponsorships and donations, will be donated to Centraide of Greater Montreal's 2013 campaign, whose goal is to raise $58.5 million by December 18. This campaign aims to support a vast network of 369 community agencies in Montreal, in Laval and on the South Shore, and to brighten the lives of 500,000 people in need. Families, youth, seniors, newcomers and people with disabilities will benefit from the fruits of this event.

This benefit contest was organized by RBC in cooperation with Place Ville Marie.

About RBC

Royal Bank of Canada (RY on TSX and NYSE) and its subsidiaries operate under the master brand name RBC. It is Canada's largest bank as measured by assets and market capitalization, and among the largest banks in the world based on market capitalization. RBC is one of North America's leading diversified financial services companies, and provides personal and commercial banking, wealth management services, insurance, and investor services and wholesale banking on a global basis. It employs approximately 80,000 full- and part-time employees who serve more than 15 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 44 other countries. For more information, please visit rbc.com.

RBC supports a broad range of community initiatives through donations, sponsorships and employee volunteer activities. In 2012, it contributed more than $95 million to causes worldwide, including donations and community investments of more than $64 million and $31 million in sponsorships.

About Centraide

One person in six lives in poverty in the Montreal area. An equal proportion of children live and grow up in a poor family. Because poverty reduces the chances of a brighter future, Centraide of Greater Montreal calls on the generosity of donors and the involvement of thousands of donors to fund agencies that help half a million vulnerable people.

Centraide of Greater Montreal is an independent organization managed by a board of directors that is representative of the community. It serves the Island of Montreal, Laval and communities on the South Shore. Some 57,000 volunteers serve in its network of agencies and 23,000 volunteers work on its annual campaign. Centraide is supported by some 1,800 companies, institutions, and public and parapublic organizations as well as by large trade unions.

People wishing to make a donation can do so by dialing 514 288-1261 or visiting Centraide's website at www.centraide-mtl.org.

SOURCE: Centraide of Greater Montreal

For further information:

Annick Gagnon, Centraide of Greater Montreal
Tel.: 514 288-1261, ext. 242
gagnona@centraide-mtl.org

Raymond Chouinard, RBC
Tel.: 514 874-6556
raymond.chouinard@rbc.com

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