Centraide's appeal was heard and answered: $54.3 million raised for the

MONTREAL, Dec. 15 /CNW Telbec/ - Centraide's appeal for generosity was heard and answered. This morning it was announced that Centraide's annual campaign raised $54,287,884, despite these difficult times. The proceeds of this vast fund drive, which kicked off on October 1, will benefit over 500,000 vulnerable people in Montreal, Laval and South Shore communities who are helped by the 360 agencies supported by Centraide.

"This campaign represented a formidable challenge," said Michèle Thibodeau-DeGuire, President and Executive Director of Centraide of Greater Montreal. "But people rallied to our cause, thinking of those who are less fortunate than themselves. Thank you to our donors and volunteers for their loyalty and generosity. The fruits of their collective efforts will enable Centraide to have a tremendous impact while working every day to improve our community's quality of life, in every neighbourhood of Greater Montreal."

The success of this fund drive, whose proceeds will be used to help the neediest throughout the coming year, was made possible thanks largely to the contribution of Greater Montreal's workplaces. Corporations made donations and their top executives encouraged employees to give generously to the campaign. They also freed up staff to participate in fundraising activities: tens of thousands of volunteers solicited donations from their co-workers. The amount raised from employees and organizations accounts for 85% of the campaign's proceeds.

"In the current economic context, the challenge was to convince people to give, and even to give more. But the fundraising teams were ready to meet this challenge, and this result is the proof," said Réal Raymond, who co-chaired the campaign with Jeffrey Orr, President and CEO of Power Financial Corporation.

"Everyone involved pulled out all the stops to ensure that we would reach our goal - from the volunteers on the campaign cabinet and those who solicit donations, to the business leaders, employees and unions at the thousands of private and public sector organizations that participate in the campaign, to the spokespeople from Centraide supported agencies who raise awareness of the community's needs. We thank them for keeping the flame of hope and the spirit of community alive throughout this campaign," said Jeffrey Orr.

The money raised by Centraide will be used to support a vast network of community agencies that fight poverty and exclusion by working with needy families, school dropouts, people with disabilities or mental health problems, seniors and new arrivals.

    About Centraide

Centraide of Greater Montreal is an independent organization managed by a board of directors which is representative of the community. It supports agencies that help over half a million people to take charge of their lives. More than 160,000 people contribute financially to Centraide's campaign, mainly through payroll deduction.

SOURCE Centraide of Greater Montreal

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

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