23rd annual Miracle Weekend brings in $16.5 million for BC's kids

Retail donors top industry sector list again

VANCOUVER, June 6 /CNW/ - BC Children's Hospital Foundation raised $16,501,473 for BC Children's Hospital during the 23rd annual Miracle Weekend, hosted by Global BC TV on June 5-6, setting a new record. Miracle Weekend events have raised approximately $156 million for the hospital since the first Miracle Weekend was held in 1988. Several records fell during the weekend: the 25th annual ChildRun on June 6 set a record for attendance and fundraising with 6,100 participants bringing in over $1 million for the first time. The Overwaitea Food Group was recognized as the largest Miracle Weekend contributor, bringing in a single-company record of $1.6 million.

"BC Children's Hospital touches the lives of hundreds of thousands of British Columbians every year," said Jerry Bried, BC Children's Hospital Miracle Weekend Chair. "Without the tremendous support we receive from people in every corner of the province, who make donations and volunteer their time, we wouldn't have this amazing resource when our children really need it."

Miracle Weekend is the culmination of fundraising efforts throughout the year by literally hundreds of diverse groups. Events include everything from school fundraisers to golf tournaments to black-tie galas. The hospital receives support from employee groups in financial services, retail, mining, technology, professional associations, construction and real estate, hospitality and restaurants, forestry and others, and members of Children's Hospital's employee family. Annual events, such as Jeans Day, Slo-Pitch, ChildRun, A World of Smiles Telethon on Shaw and radiothons on 98.5 The OCEAN (Victoria) and Virgin Radio 95.3 (Vancouver) contributed to the total.

The 12-hour Miracle Weekend Telethon was broadcast on Global BC - ending with the announcement of the total at 6 pm on Sunday. The Chinese-Canadian Telethon and Radiothon, airing on Fairchild TV, CHMB AM 1320 and Fairchild Radio AM 1470 on June 5, contributed $800,000 to the total. The retail sector, one of many industry groups participating, made the largest contribution from a business group in the 23-year history of Miracle Weekend: $4.6 million.

"Once again, British Columbians have shown us how important children are to this province," said Sue Carruthers, president and CEO of BC Children's Hospital Foundation. "We are grateful to everyone who, in the course of the past year, made a gift of any size or volunteered their time. We also owe a debt of gratitude to the patient families who bravely share their stories, and to the caregivers who save young lives on a daily basis."

Donations to the Miracle Weekend are used to support the purchase of life-saving equipment, research into the treatment, prevention and cure of childhood diseases, recruitment and educational programs for caregivers, and programs in communities throughout the province.

About BC Children's Hospital

BC Children's Hospital is the province's only full-service acute care hospital and serves the one million children living in BC and the Yukon. All children who are seriously ill or injured are referred to Children's Hospital and are either treated at the hospital facility in Vancouver or, with consultation from Children's specialists, in their home community. Last year, more than 72,000 children were treated at Children's Hospital. BC Children's Hospital Foundation received donations from more than 120,000 people last year and had revenues of over $61.1 million. Funds raised by the foundation are used to support BC Children's Hospital, Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children and the Child & Family Research Institute.

SOURCE BC Children's Hospital Foundation

For further information: For further information: Debora Sweeney, BC Children's Hospital Foundation, Mobile: (604) 828-4918, E-mail: dsweeney@bcchf.ca, www.bcchf.ca; Stephen Forgacs, BC Children's Hospital Foundation, Mobile: (604) 719-4381, E-mail: sforgacs@bcchf.ca

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