Across Canada, Team CIBC rallies around Fort McMurray evacuees

From fundraisers to onsite support at evacuation centres, CIBC employees show they care

EDMONTON, May 10, 2016 /CNW/ - A little more than a week ago life went on as it normally did for the 80,000+ residents of Fort McMurray. Though the wildfire burned close, the terrifying exodus had not yet begun. Today, nothing is normal. "You can see the fear and uncertainty in the faces of our clients and our colleagues," says Jane Sexauer, a CIBC District Vice-President for Northeastern Alberta based in Edmonton. "They are still in shock and reality is just hitting them now."

Jane hopped in her truck and picked up a displaced Fort McMurray colleague staying in the hamlet of Plamondon. Together, they headed to the Bold Centre evacuation site in Lac La Biche to volunteer – just some of the countless CIBC employees in the region and across Canada who are helping any way they can. From distributing water, food, toiletries, pet food and other life necessities to offering shelter in their homes, employees are pitching in, while assisting clients with their urgent financial needs.

"The outpouring of support has been overwhelming. It's been very heart-warming how people will just drop everything to help out," she says. "It's been over the top."

While the CIBC team in Alberta is helping at evacuation centres, employees right across Canada continue to hold fundraisers to rally community support for displaced Fort McMurray residents.

To support this groundswell of giving, CIBC (TSX: CM)(NYSE: CM) has joined an emergency food drive led by Alberta Food Banks to help the people of Fort McMurray for the long recovery ahead, and is matching the first $100,000 raised by our team.

The matched funds will be directed to Alberta Food Banks to help fill the fridges and cupboards of Fort McMurray residents with healthy food once they return home. In March, CIBC donated $250,000 to the Alberta Food Banks to meet the urgent demand for supplies at depleted food banks, the charity's largest-ever corporate donation.

CIBC continues to accept donations to the Canadian Red Cross at its branches across Canada, and last week made a $100,000 donation to the Alberta Fires Appeal.

To make it easier to access cash and get personalized banking advice, CIBC has also set up a mobile banking trailer at the Northlands Coliseum and will have an additional ATM kiosk in Lac La Biche, located at the Independent Grocer.

"It's going to be a long recovery and our neighbours in Fort McMurray will need all of the help we can provide to support them in the weeks and months ahead," says Tom Weber, Region Head, Alberta, CIBC. "Right now, we want to help alleviate their anxiety, to reassure them and put some normalcy back into their lives."

CIBC has already spoken with thousands of clients, assisting with flexible credit options, re-amortizing mortgages, waiving fees, short-term relief from card payments and more. Clients are encouraged to stop by any of our banking centres, our temporary facilities at evacuation sites, or call CIBC toll free at 1-877-454-9030 for assistance. Follow us on Twitter at @cibc, facebook.com/cibc and cibc.com for updates.

About CIBC

CIBC is a leading Canadian-based global financial institution with 11 million personal banking and business clients. CIBC and our employees are committed to the social and economic development of our communities, with a focus on Kids, Cures and Community. In 2014, CIBC supported over 420 communities across Canada, contributing more than $42 million to 1,780 charitable and non-profit initiatives, including the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure, the CIBC Children's Foundation and United Way. You can find other news releases and information about CIBC on our corporate website at www.cibc.com/ca/media-centre/.

SOURCE Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

Image with caption: "CIBC employees ready to help Fort McMurray evacuees outside the temporary banking centre at Northlands Coliseum. (CNW Group/Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160510_C1445_PHOTO_EN_687081.jpg

Image with caption: "CIBC employees open a temporary banking centre to help Fort McMurray evacuees at Northlands Coliseum. (CNW Group/Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160510_C1445_PHOTO_EN_687083.jpg



For further information: Caroline Van Hasselt, Director, External Communications and Media Relations, at (416) 784-6699, caroline.vanhasselt@cibc.com

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