Power of Movement 2010 unites Canadians for arthritis research

World's largest yoga fundraiser creates call-to-action to reach half-million dollar mark

TORONTO, Feb. 2 /CNW/ - On Sunday, March 7, thousands of Canadians will focus their intentions on doing yoga to raise money for critical arthritis research Power of Movement 2010, the world's largest yoga fundraiser. Since the fundraiser's inception just four years ago, Power of Movement has raised almost $400,000 benefiting 4.5 million Canadians who live with arthritis - one of the leading causes of disability - and autoimmune diseases. This year Power of Movement seeks to stretch its proceeds past the half-million dollar mark.

Throughout the day, large-scale Power of Movement yoga "mega-sessions" are taking place in 10 cities coast-to-coast including Vancouver, Nanaimo, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Kingston, Montreal and Halifax. Canadians can register to participate in a yoga mega-session and start collecting pledges through a personalized fundraising page at www.powerofmovement.ca.

Canadians who want to attend a mega-session but don't live in a designated region can still participate in Power of Movement 2010. Smaller yoga sessions are taking place at local yoga studios, schools and offices across the country and members of the public can also create their own Power of Movement challenge by registering online for the free, virtual 30-day challenge beginning February 6.

From its humble beginnings as a small grassroots initiative in a Toronto community centre just four years ago, Power of Movement now challenges Canadians in every corner of the country to take action for meaningful change in arthritis and autoimmune disease care. Money raised in 2010 will benefit arthritis and autoimmune disease research priorities across the nation, through the Arthritis & Autoimmunity Research Centre (AARC) Foundation, one chapter of The Arthritis Society (TAS) and the Canadian Arthritis Network (CAN).

"We are aiming to reach a record number of Canadians this year and stretching our fundraising goal past the half-million dollar mark," says Power of Movement Founder Erin Moraghan who is a Senior Development Officer at the AARC Foundation and a Moksha Yoga instructor. "The event is an accessible and fun way to stay active while supporting life-changing research that may one day lead to a cure for arthritis and autoimmune diseases like lupus, vasculitis and juvenile arthritis."

Arthritis is one of the most prevalent chronic diseases in Canada and there is no known cure. Anyone can do yoga to help raise money.

Become a fan of Power of Movement on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @powerofmovement.

Power of Movement 2010 is made possible with the support of Presenting Sponsor and global health care company Abbott, as well as National Post and Moksha Yoga and a host of other sponsors.

About the AARC Foundation

The Arthritis & Autoimmunity Research Centre (AARC) Foundation raises funds and awareness for the most comprehensive, collaborative, and specialized arthritis research centre around the globe, housed at University Health Network (UHN), which comprises Toronto General, Toronto Western and Princess Margaret Hospitals. AARC is dedicated to research in arthritis related autoimmune diseases, musculoskeletal health, and advancements in orthopaedic surgery.

About The Arthritis Society

The Arthritis Society empowers the nearly 4.5 million Canadians with arthritis to live their lives to the fullest by combating the daily limitations of arthritis. In the last 60 years, The Society has invested $165 million towards arthritis research to develop better treatments and, ultimately, find a cure. The Arthritis Society's mission is "to search for the underlying causes and subsequent cures for arthritis, and to promote the best possible care and treatment for people with arthritis".

About CAN

The Canadian Arthritis Network (CAN) is a not-for-profit organization that funds research and acts as a facilitator, bringing scientific discoveries to market by providing access to cutting-edge techniques for product development and evaluation. CAN is the single point of contact that links nearly 200 leading Canadian arthritis researchers and clinicians, 45 Canadian academic institutions, The Arthritis Society, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research's Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, and government.

SOURCE ABBOTT LABORATORIES (POWER OF MOVEMENT 2010)

For further information: For further information: to locate a mega-session or coordinate interviews please contact: Shauna Simons, Nikki Gentles, Media Profile, shauna.simons@mediaprofile.com, nikki.gentles@mediaprofile.com, (416) 342-1841, (416) 342-1806, Shauna cell: (647) 502-4600, Nikki cell: (416) 737-6801

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ABBOTT LABORATORIES (POWER OF MOVEMENT 2010)

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