Media/Photo Advisory - Manulife Bike and Hike for Heart this Sunday, June 6!

NEW LOCATION - WATERLOO PARK

WATERLOO, ON, June 1 /CNW/ -

    
    WHO:   Close to 1,000 enthusiastic cyclists and walkers, plus hundreds of
           volunteers are ready to raise money in support of St. Mary's
           Regional Cardiac Care Centre. St. Mary's Cardiac Rehabilitation
           Centre patients and their families will bike or hike as a team at
           the event, raising funds for the cardiac rehabilitation program.

    WHAT:  The 18th annual Manulife Bike and Hike for Heart includes a 20km
           course for all ranges of cycling skills, plus two walking trails -
           three or five kilometres - in and around Waterloo Park.

    WHEN:  SUNDAY, JUNE 6

           8 a.m.                     Check-in and donation collection begins
           9:15 a.m.                  Opening ceremonies at start/finish line
           9:30 a.m.                  Cyclists depart
           9:45 a.m. (approx.)        Walkers depart
           10:15 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.   Light lunch and post-event celebrations
                                      begin

    WHERE: Waterloo Park, Seagram Drive Entrance

    WHY:   Since 2000, all donations have supported the St. Mary's Regional
           Cardiac Care Centre in Kitchener. This year's fundraising goal is
           $200,000 to expand the programs at the cardiac centre. Beginning
           in 1993, this event has raised more than $2.9 million for heart
           health in Waterloo Region.

    For more information, please visit http://www.manulife.ca/bikeandhike


       18th Manulife Bike and Hike for Heart set to raise $200,000 for
       ---------------------------------------------------------------
                   St. Mary's Regional Cardiac Care Centre
                   ---------------------------------------
             Donations exceed $2.9 million for local heart health
    

Close to 1,000 cyclists and walkers are set to make their way in and around Waterloo Park en route to raising $200,000 for St. Mary's Regional Cardiac Care Centre.

Sponsored by Manulife Financial since 1993, this year's Bike and Hike takes place Sunday, June 6. To date, the Bike and Hike has raised more than $2.9 million for regional heart health, with $1.8 million directly benefiting the St. Mary's Regional Cardiac Care Centre.

"This is a very important event for us at Manulife. We believe in supporting the communities in which our employees live and the Cardiac Centre at St. Mary's is a tremendous cause," said Paul Rooney, President and CEO Manulife Canada. "We are particularly proud of the hundreds of volunteers, many of whom are Manulife employees, who make this event so special. We know that our communities prosper when volunteerism is encouraged and celebrated. The Bike & Hike is a perfect example."

Moira Taylor, president of St. Mary's General Hospital, added: "We're very appreciative for the community's ongoing support of the Manulife Bike and Hike. It's important to our continued success in providing the best cardiac care to our patients. Thanks to the efforts of the event's participants and sponsors, we were able to accommodate more than 40,000 visits to our Regional Cardiac Care Centre last year and look forward to continuing to deliver the excellent care our patients deserve."

Starting at Waterloo Park's Seagram Drive entrance, this year's Bike and Hike includes a 20-kilometre bike course for all ranges of cycling skills. Walkers can follow a three or eight-kilometre trail through the park and its surrounding neighbourhoods. Cyclists will start at 9:30 a.m., while walkers start to stroll at approximately 9:45 a.m. Post-event celebrations, including lunch, will continue until closing ceremonies start around 10:15 a.m.

The Manulife Bike and Hike for Heart (originally known as The Manulife Ride for Heart) has grown and benefited from community-wide support from a diverse group of individuals and companies. For 17 years walkers, cyclists, supporters and volunteers have given their time, energy and donations to help ensure quality heart care is available in Kitchener-Waterloo.

All donations raised by participants in the Bike and Hike support St. Mary's Regional Cardiac Care Centre. The event's operating costs are covered by Manulife, other sponsors and registration fees.

"Everyone at Manulife is proud to be involved in our local health care," added Mr. Rooney. "We're encouraging everyone to come out Sunday to support the tremendous work being done at our local cardiac care centre."

Organizers have their fingers crossed that everyone will hear the call and come out to cycle or walk. There's still time to register. Call 519-88-HEART for details. You can also visit the Bike and Hike Web site at: www.manulife.ca/bikeandhike or email us at bike&hikeforheart@manulife.com

    
    St. Mary's General Hospital
    ---------------------------
    

St. Mary's General Hospital has served the local community for more than eight decades. The hospital is known for carrying out the tradition of its founders, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Hamilton, offering excellent care, compassionate service and a healing environment.

St. Mary's is a member of St. Joseph's Health Care System, and affiliated with the Father Sean O'Sullivan Research Centre and McMaster University, Hamilton. Through these and other partnerships, the hospital ensures that care is cost-effective, as well as carried out with skill, compassion, and kindness.

    
    Manulife Financial
    ------------------
    

Manulife Financial is a leading Canadian-based financial services group serving millions of customers in 22 countries and territories worldwide. Operating as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia, and primarily through John Hancock in the United States, the Company offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services through its extensive network of employees, agents and distribution partners. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were Cdn$446 billion (US$440 billion) as at March 31, 2010.Manulife Financial Corporation trades as 'MFC' on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under '945' on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at www.manulife.com.

    
                                 BACKGROUNDER

    Manulife Bike and Hike for Heart
    --------------------------------
    -   Since 1993 the event has raised more than $2.9 million for heart
        health in the Kitchener-Waterloo area. Since 2000, the event has
        directly supported the new Regional Cardiac Care Centre at St. Mary's
        Hospital.
    -   Participants include more than 1,000 people involved in "Corporate
        Challenge" teams (groups of cyclists and walkers from local
        businesses and organizations), including senior executives from
        Manulife and St. Mary's, 300 individual cyclists and walkers and more
        than 300 volunteers.
    -   Starting at Waterloo Park's Seagram Drive entrance, this year's Bike
        and Hike includes a 20-kilometre course for all cycling skills.
        Walkers will follow either a three or five-kilometer trail. Cyclists
        will start at 9:30 a.m., while walkers start to stroll at
        approximately 9:45 a.m. Post-event celebrations will include lunch
        and recognition of the day's top corporate, individual and family
        fundraisers.
    

SOURCE Manulife Financial Corporation

For further information: For further information: Media contacts: Tom Nunn, Manulife Financial, Tel: (519) 594-8578 (Cell No. on June 6 only, (519) 580-9517); Peter Sweeney, President, St. Mary's General Hospital Foundation, Tel: (519) 749-6878


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