Eighth Annual Ride for Karen Cycling Event Reaches its Million Dollar Mark to
Send Children with Cancer to Camp

MAPLE, ON, Sept. 13 /CNW/ - More than 450 cycling enthusiasts from across Ontario hit the roads north of Toronto today for the Ride for Karen annual fundraiser. The ride is in its eighth year and this year raised $217,000. From pre-schoolers taking part in the Kids' Fun Ride, to cyclists completing a 'century ride' (100 miles) - the event succeeded in raising more than a million dollars over the past eight years to send kids with cancer to camp.

Scotiabank, presenting sponsor of the 2009 Ride for Karen, provides support and sponsorship for the operation of the event while also helping to create more awareness, increase the number of participants and raise additional funds for the camps. One hundred per cent of the money raised from this year's event goes to Camp Oochigeas, Camp Quality and Camp Trillium to send children to camp and provide the required support and treatments during their stay. This year's Ride for Karen will send more than 300 children with cancer to summer camp.

"Scotiabank is dedicated to supporting local initiatives, like the Ride for Karen, in the communities where we do business," says Phil Smith, Managing Director, Deputy Head, Global Investment Banking, Scotiabank. "We are proud to be involved in an event that builds hope for children living with cancer and the families who care for them. We are grateful to have the opportunity to work alongside committed volunteers and participants who make this ride possible. Congratulations to the Ride for Karen for its great success this year.

Ride for Karen was started by Karen's sons, Kirk and Kris, shortly after her death from breast cancer in July 2002. Since then, Ride for Karen has grown into one of Ontario's premiere cycling events.

"The idea for the Ride for Karen started when my brother and I got a few friends together for a long bike ride to clear our heads after we lost our mother, Karen, to a five-year battle with breast cancer in 2002," says Kirk Tobias. "Our mother was dedicated to improving hope for cancer patients and the Ride for Karen is a way to build this hope. It offers support for people that have been touched by the disease, cancer survivors, and families who have lost loved ones."

The 2009 Ride for Karen featured four courses, a 25 km course for intermediate cyclists, a 100 km course for recreational cyclists, a 160 km (100 mile 'century') route for advanced riders and the Kids' Fun Ride for kids 2 - 12 years of age. Participants raised funds through pledges and many dedicated their ride to a child or loved one affected by cancer.

In Canada, approximately 1,400 children are diagnosed with cancer each year and another 10,000 are already living with cancer or its long-term effects.

"The Ride for Karen is made possible with the help and support of dozens of sponsors and volunteers," says Kris Tobias. "Whether it's the local police from York, Peel, South Simcoe and the Ontario Provincial Police who donate their time, or people making sandwiches and baking cookies for participants, the help from the community truly makes this a successful family event."

Ride for Karen

Started in 2002, Ride for Karen (www.rideforkaren.com) is a yearly cycling event that is held as a tribute to the life and legacy of Karen Tobias and to raise money for charities that help people living with cancer, and those who care for them. In the last eight years, Ride for Karen has raised over one million dollars which has been used to help build and furnish new cancer care facilities, provide much needed resources for cancer support centres and send kids with cancer to camp.

About Scotiabank

Scotiabank is committed to supporting the communities in which we live and work, both in Canada and abroad. Recognized as a leader internationally and among Canadian corporations for its charitable donations and philanthropic activities, in 2008 the Bank provided about $43 million in sponsorships and donations to a variety of projects and initiatives, primarily in the areas of healthcare, education, social services and arts and culture. Visit us at www.scotiabank.com.

SOURCE Scotiabank - Sponsorships & Donations

For further information: For further information: Gina Kohn, (416) 203-2223, gkohn@paradigmpr.ca

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