Centraide aims to raise over $55.5 million by December 10

    MONTREAL, Oct. 8 /CNW Telbec/ - Some 15,000 people from Greater
Montreal's community agencies and businesses, along with many public
personalities, demonstrated their support for Centraide this noon-hour. They
were participating in the March of 1,000 Umbrellas to officially kick off
Campaign 2008. The goal is to raise $55,555,555, which is $1.5 million more
than last year.
    The umbrella symbolizes the protection required by the 500,000 vulnerable
people who are helped by Centraide's network of 360 community agencies.
    Centraide Campaign 2008 is co-chaired by Richard B. Evans, Chief
Executive of Rio Tinto Alcan, and Jacques Lamarre, President and CEO of
SNC-Lavalin Group. They are supported by 30 business, union and institutional
leaders who make up the campaign cabinet.
    Michèle Thibodeau-DeGuire, President and Executive Director Centraide of
Greater Montreal, said this year's campaign reflects the generosity of the
hundreds of thousands of donors and volunteers who make up Centraide's vast
network of caring and solidarity. "It's amazing what people can accomplish
when they join hands to help others, even when it requires a lot of effort.
Every year, these volunteers and donors respond heartily and loyally to
Centraide's appeal."
    Centraide of Greater Montreal Board Chair Claude Léger, Director General
of the City of Montreal, emphasized that 88 cents of every dollar raised would
be put back into the Greater Montreal community. "The volunteers on
Centraide's Board as well as the 75 volunteers on its allocations committees
will make sure they invest the campaign proceeds effectively and intelligently
so as to prevent and counter poverty and exclusion," he said.
    Last year, Centraide's campaign raised $54 million to support community
agencies and projects that offer lasting solutions to social problems. The
proceeds of this year's fund drive will be used to promote academic success,
food security, the autonomy of persons with disabilities, the integration of
new arrivals, to help seniors, provide mental health assistance, empower
families and youth, and much more.
    Centraide of Greater Montreal is an independent organization managed by a
board of directors which is representative of the community. It serves the
Island of Montreal, Laval, and communities on the South Shore. Centraide
supports agencies and projects that promote self-help and mutual-aid, are
active in their community, and together will have a long-term impact on the
Greater Montreal community as a whole by helping over 500,000 people to regain
control over their lives. Centraide relies on a network of over 73,000
volunteers, 22,000 of whom work on its annual campaign. More than 175,000
people contribute financially to Centraide's campaign, mainly through payroll
deduction. Centraide is supported by some 2,300 businesses and corporations,
institutions, and public and parapublic organizations as well as by the
majority of the large trade unions. It also receives over $2 million in free
ad space and broadcast time which is generously donated by corporations and
the media to inform and mobilize donors. There are 18 autonomous Centraides in
Quebec, each managed by an independent board of directors which is
representative of the community it serves.
    The amount raised during Centraide Campaign 2008 will be announced on
December 10, the date the campaign winds up.
    Centraide encourages everyone in the workplaces of Greater Montreal to
give generously to the campaign through payroll deduction. Persons wishing to
make a donation can also call Centraide of Greater Montreal at 514 288-1261 or
visit the "To make your donation" section of its website at

For further information:

For further information: Annick Gagnon, Public Relations Coordinator,
(514) 288-1261, ext. 242, gagnona@centraide-mtl.org

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