Centraide recognizes outstanding involvement from corporations and community
agencies in its caring network

Solidaires are awarded to eight corporations and four agencies

MONTREAL, April 30 /CNW Telbec/ - Centraide of Greater Montreal hosted its annual recognition event yesterday evening and honoured outstanding involvement from people in the business world and the community movement. Eight Solidaires were awarded to corporations and organizations that surpassed themselves during Centraide's last fundraising campaign, despite the difficult economic context. Four prizes recognized the work of Centraide supported agencies in fighting poverty and social exclusion.

National Bank Financial Group was awarded the Solidaires for Overall Support for best Centraide campaign. The Solidaires for Best Employee Campaigns went to Bombardier, IMS Health Canada and KPMG. The Solidaires for Best First Employee Campaign was granted to Excellence Life Insurance Company and MRA. The Solidaires for Best Leadership Giving Campaigns (donations of $1,000 or more) were presented to CAE and Hewitt Equipment Limited. And the members of Local 712, I.A.M.A.W., and Local 62, CAW Quebec, two unions of Bombardier Aerospace, earned the Solidaires for Trade Union Support.

Considering that the majority of last fall's campaigns were conducted under difficult circumstances, the efforts of other organizations were recognized as well. In addition to the Solidaires, seven "Coup de Coeur" prizes were awarded to corporations and one union for their involvement and generosity: Rio Tinto Alcan, CMC Electronics, Pratt & Whitney Canada, Xerox Canada, NATIONAL Public Relations, Dale Parizeau Morris Mackenzie and Local 510 of CAW Quebec at Pratt & Whitney Canada.

    Innovating to help more effectively

The work of the community agencies, community workers and volunteers who support vulnerable people day in and day out was rewarded as well.

The Agnes C. Higgins Award was presented jointly to Projet 80 for its program "80, ruelle de l'avenir" and to PROMIS (PROmotion, Intégration, Société nouvelle) for its program "Soutien aux femmes sud-asiatiques isolées."

Projet 80 created a unique learning centre to encourage hundreds of young people in the Centre-South and Hochelaga-Maisonneuve districts to stay in school. "80, ruelle de l'avenir" offers children and teenagers from disadvantaged backgrounds who are at risk of dropping out with a space of their own to better develop their potential. With the support of various partners, six classrooms in an unused annex of Garneau elementary school were transformed into a "ruelle de l'Avenir" or "back alley to the future." In addition to homework assistance, the agency Projet 80 now offers workshops in cooking, gardening, dance, arts and sciences, and multimedia production, thereby exposing young people to a world of possibilities.

PROMIS (PROmotion, Intégration, Société nouvelle) and its program "Soutien aux femmes sud-asiatiques isolées" helped 132 South Asian women in the Côte-des-Neiges district, who come from about ten different countries, to better integrate into their host society. The district is home to large Bangladeshi and Sri Lankan communities, and over 97% of their adult members are first generation immigrants.

Daniel Vézina, Executive Director of the Centre d'intégration à la vie active pour les personnes vivant avec un handicap physique (C.I.V.A.), earned the Gilles Cousineau Award for the excellence of his work. An innovative visionary, Daniel Vézina has throughout his 30-year career helped hundreds of disabled people to develop their potential through participation in a multitude of educational, sports, cultural and social activities. Thanks to his influence, CIVA is recognized as a leader in high level disabled sports in Montreal.

Centraide also presented the Antoinette Robidoux Award, Youth Volunteer category to Steven Roy of Santropol Roulant. This young McGill University neuroscience student donated about 1,000 hours of volunteer work. Among other things, he created a data base to better support the 900 annual volunteers who every day deliver some 100 meals to isolated seniors.

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, supporting 360 community agencies and projects that help half a million vulnerable people. Centraide relies on over 73,000 volunteers, 23,000 of whom work on its annual campaign. It is supported by some 2,100 businesses and corporations, institutions, and public and parapublic organizations as well as large trade unions.

SOURCE Centraide of Greater Montreal

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

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