36 Cyclists to Undertake 7,000 km Ride Across Canada to Battle Childhood Cancer

                       Sears National Kids Cancer Ride

    VANCOUVER, June 11 /CNW/ - The 36 Sears National Kids Cancer Ride
cyclists will depart Vancouver June 13, 2009, and arrive in Halifax on June
24. The Sears Ride across Canada is the world's longest charitable cycling
event on behalf of childhood cancer. When the cyclists arrive in Halifax, they
will have covered over 7,000 km.
    British Columbians are invited to the Coquitlam Centre on June 13 at
10:30 am to cheer on the riders as they get ready to depart for Halifax. The
public can also participate by joining the community ride-along in Coquitlam
for 10 km up to 69 km, and experience the ride as a national rider would. A
similar ride-along is planned for Kelowna on June 14. Canadians can also track
the national ride and become a fan of Ben, Sears bear mascot, who is 'along
for this coast to coast ride' and is posting daily reports on facebook -
    Last year, the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride raised $1.1 million from
Canadians to fund both national and provincial pediatric hematology and
oncology research programs. This year, the event hopes to increase that amount
and is calling on all Canadians to participate to help achieve this goal.
    National rider Ken Cross has a daughter who has had cancer since she was
four years old. She is now five and still fighting. That is incentive enough
for Cross, a Kingston, Ontario resident to join 35 other riders in cycling
across Canada this month in the second annual Sears National Kids Cancer Ride
to raise awareness and funds in the battle against childhood cancer. "It will
be grueling, but nowhere near how difficult it is for a youngster to fight
this disease daily," says Cross, a Sears Human Resource Manager who began
training for the ride seven months ago. "For me, and I think for all of the
riders, this ride is an endeavour from the heart. It's symbolic of the
struggle these kids and their families face, and with the funds raised, it can
make a difference."
    "Sears is fully committed to the cause of pediatric oncology as a
Company," said Dene Rogers, President & CEO, Sears Canada. "Through the
involvement of our associates and the vast network of Sears locations across
the country, we can raise awareness, money for research and treatment and
support for children and their families who are dealing with these devastating
diseases." Mr. Rogers plans to participate in various stages of the national
ride, including the launch in BC, riding from Vancouver to Calgary. Sears
Canada Chairman of the Board, William Crowley, is also riding this leg of the
    The funds raised in the inaugural Sears National Kids Cancer Ride last
year was the largest single donation received by the Canadian Council of
Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Directors (a group of hospitals known as the
C17), the national childhood cancer organization representing all pediatric
hematology/oncology programs across the country. Of the $1.1 million raised,
$770,000 was given to C17 to fund national pediatric hematology and oncology
research. The balance of $330,000 was distributed to pediatric oncology
centres across Canada to fund local research programs.
    Canadians are encouraged to join the national riders in shorter
'ride-alongs' as they pass through their local communities. Riders will stop
at select Sears locations and pediatric oncology centres across the country
where they will join local riders and meet kids at various hospitals.
    "Helping these kids and their families is the focus of our efforts," said
Jeff Rushton, Founder of the Coast to Coast Against Cancer Foundation
(CTCACF). "The donations raised are critical in helping to fund programs that
can improve the survival rates and the quality of life for children fighting
this horrible disease." The Foundation, which conducts the Sears National Kids
Cancer Ride, is a volunteer-based registered Canadian charitable foundation
focused on improving health outcomes and quality of life of children and
families impacted by cancer.
    Cancer is the leading cause of non-accidental death in children in
Canada. Each year, about 1,700 children are diagnosed with cancer. More
children die of cancer each year than asthma, cystic fibrosis, muscular
dystrophy, and congenital anomalies combined. Childhood cancer is very
different from adult cancer and places its own unique demands on our
healthcare system. The treatment and cure for these children is a 24/7
process, often over a period of 2-3 years, the effects of which can smother
    "On behalf of all doctors and health care professionals working in the
field of childhood cancer care in Canada, I give my full support to this
tremendous initiative and applaud all those that contribute by riding,
fundraising, volunteering and, especially, donating to improve the quality of
life for our children with cancer," Dr. Victor Blanchette, Head of Paediatric
Oncology, Hospital for Sick Children / Chair C17 Council.

    Sears Canada is a multi-channel retailer with a network of 198 corporate
stores, 193 dealer stores, 40 home improvement showrooms, over 1,800 catalogue
merchandise pick-up locations, 108 Sears Travel offices and a nationwide home
maintenance, repair and installation network. The company also publishes
Canada's most extensive general merchandise catalogue and offers shopping
online at www.sears.ca.

    For more information, to register as a rider or a volunteer, or to make a
donation, visit www.SearsNationalKidsCancerRide.com or call 1.866.381.4446.

For further information:

For further information: Patricia Robitaille, (604) 873-0080, cell:
(604) 230-0530, probitaille@shaw.ca

Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890