Medavie Blue Cross Canoe Challenge raises over $106,000 for IWK Health Centre Foundation and Ronald McDonald House

    DARTMOUTH, NS, June 26 /CNW/ - The 12th Annual Medavie Blue Cross Canoe
Challenge, held Saturday on Lake Banook, raised $106,238 for the IWK Health
Centre Foundation and Ronald McDonald House.
    Overcast conditions and heavy rains prevailed throughout the day, but the
24 teams did not let the weather dampen their spirits. King Insurance paddled
to a first-place finish with a time of 54.28 seconds; Trax Construction
(54.67 seconds) and Hunter Belgrave (1 minute 1.0016 seconds) placed second
and third, respectively. The consolation winners were PCL Constructors with a
time of 1 minute 02.13 seconds.
    "We're very pleased with the success of this event, and thank the many
teams, volunteers, media, local celebrities, entertainers and sponsors who
participated despite the challenging weather," said Paul Dowie, Chief
Operating Officer for Medavie Blue Cross. "Everyone involved worked very hard
to raise funds for the IWK Heath Centre Foundation and Ronald McDonald House."
    For the second consecutive year, Trax Construction of Bedford received
the "Spirit Award" for raising $23,685. The award, a one-of-a-kind sculpture
created by NovaScotian Crystal to honour the team that raises the most money,
captures the spirit of a sick child, who often sustains and gives strength to
the surrounding family members and caregivers. The piece also depicts family
and caregivers, the support of Ronald McDonald House and the IWK, and sits
upon a base etched with waves to signify the event.
    Team Medavie Blue Cross (Moncton) came in second place with $14,661.80,
and BMO placed third, with $13,220.50. Prizes were also presented for top
individual fundraising as follows:

    - Mary Anne Dibb, Ultramar - $8677.00;
    - Philip Broderson, Hunter Belgrave - $5000;
    - Gerry MacPhail, BMO - $4727.00;
    - Sherry Doyle, Stewart McKelvey - $2526.00.

    "This year the theme of the children's Fun land area was Superheroes,"
said Shauna MacLennan, Executive Director of Ronald McDonald House. "While
almost 150 children were having fun with contests, games and were busy
creating their own 'superhero' costumes, the real Superheroes of the day were
the individuals and corporate teams who worked diligently to raise funds to
help support the children and families who stay at our House. Our thanks go
out to them and the incredible team at Medavie Blue Cross for their commitment
and passion in helping Atlantic Canadian families."
    Throughout the day, teams also participated in fun "land" events with
King Insurance taking home the prize for Volleyball, Nubody's were first
overall in Landlubber (Tug-of-War and Washer-Toss) and NovaScotian Crystal
Crews won the prize for the Best Dressed Team.
    This was the first year that Canoe Challenge activities necessitated the
closure of Prince Albert Road in Dartmouth. This street closure accommodated
an expanded kid's fun-land, entertainment stage, team tents, vendor booths,
and much more. Roger Bleasdale and Lori LeBlanc, co-chairs of this year's
event, said residents of the area were accommodating and understanding.
"People who were inconvenienced by the Canoe Challenge road closure understood
that we were raising funds for two worthy charities, and were supportive of
our efforts. We extend a sincere thank you to them for their patience."
    Critical to the event's success was support of our new and long-time
sponsors: Host sponsor, Medavie Blue Cross, Presenting sponsor CTV; Gold
sponsors Stewart McKelvey, NovaScotian Crystal, Nubody's and McDonald's;
Silver sponsors The Daily News, Empire Theatres, Olympians Canada and C100;
and Bronze sponsors Big 8 Beverages, EmbroidMe and Via Rail Canada.

    With roots back to 1943, Medavie Blue Cross provides health, travel, life
and income replacement products to group and individual customers, administers
various provincial and federal government-sponsored health programs and,
through subsidiary companies, manages the ambulance services in New Brunswick,
Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. A member of the Canadian Association of
Blue Cross Plans, Medavie Blue Cross operates from offices in Moncton,
Dartmouth, Montreal and Toronto, as well as Fredericton, Saint John, Bathurst,
Charlottetown, Halifax, St. John's and Quebec City.

For further information:

For further information: Ellen Hemphill, Community Relations Officer,
Medavie Blue Cross, (902) 491-1921

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