Toronto People With AIDS Foundation Friends for Life Bike Rally Gearing Up For Upcoming Launch Party



    TORONTO, Jan. 30 /CNW/ - Hundreds of cyclists and volunteers will take to
the road on July 26, 2009 raising funds and awareness for the Toronto People
With AIDS Foundation (PWA).
    The 11th annual Friends for Life Bike Rally, presented by Scotiabank,
will host a launch party on February 3, 2009 at George's Play Bar at 504
Church Street in Toronto. New and returning riders and crew can expect an
energetic and enthusiastic crowd for this event. "We are looking for cyclists
and volunteers to help make this another landmark year for the ride," said
Todd Ross, Co-Chair of the Bike Rally. "We raised just over $1 million in 2008
and our goal is to exceed that amount in 2009."
    The Friends for Life Bike Rally is a grassroots, volunteer-driven
fundraiser that began in 1998 when two friends challenged each other to cycle
from Toronto to Montreal to support the Toronto People With AIDS Foundation.
    Murray Jose, Executive Director of PWA said the need for funds is
constantly growing. "This year, more than ever, we need money for core
services like PWA's treatment programs and food programs for men, women and
children living with HIV/AIDS in our community."
    Christine Hollinger, a first time rider in 2008, said it was initially
intimidating thinking about cycling to Montreal. "I hadn't been on a bike in
years and when I registered for the first time last year, I wasn't even sure I
could cycle that distance. When the network of support from the bike rally
volunteers kicked in, I found a community that was there to support my
journey, in every way."
    Last year, PWA and Scotiabank partnered together in support of the
Friends of Life Bike Rally, an event that has contributed more than $5 million
in the past 10 years, supporting women, men, and children living with HIV/AIDS
in Canada. Scotiabank has committed to a three-year partnership with the
organization.
    "Supporting organizations like PWA, and events like the Friends for Life
Bike Rally and all the related volunteer initiatives, are commitments that
Scotiabank has made to communities where we operate," said Cory Garlough,
Scotiabank Vice-President, Global Employment Solutions. "As someone who rode
the distance with the Bike Rally last year, I know how dedicated the riders
are to making a difference. We are proud to continue our support for PWA and
to encourage others in our communities to reach out, embrace and support these
important causes."
    The launch party will bring together new riders and volunteers with
experienced riders and crew who will be on hand to share stories about this
rewarding and life changing event. Refreshments and prizes will also be
available. For more information about the Friends for Life Bike Rally in
support of Toronto People With AIDS, please visit www.bikerally.org.

    About the Toronto People With AIDS Foundation (PWA)

    PWA exists to promote the health and well being of all people living with
HIV/AIDS by providing accessible and practical support services. It is
Canada's largest direct support service agency for people living with
HIV/AIDS. To learn more, visit: www.pwatoronto.org.

    About Scotiabank

    Scotiabank is committed to supporting the communities in which we live
and work, both in Canada and abroad. Recognized as a leader internationally
and among Canadian corporations for its charitable donations and philanthropic
activities, in 2008 the Bank provided about $43 million in sponsorships and
donations to a variety of projects and initiatives, primarily in the areas of
healthcare, education, social services and arts and culture. Visit us online
at www.scotiabank.com.





For further information:

For further information: Pam Beavis, Toronto People With AIDS
Foundation, (416) 506-8606 ext. 240 or www.bikerally.org; Livy Feldgajer,
Scotiabank Public Affairs, (416) 866-6203 or livy_feldgajer@scotiacapital.com


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