TORONTO, July 26, 2012 /CNW/ - Close to 400 bicycle riders and crew will begin a 600 kilometre journey from Toronto to Montreal in the 14th Annual Friends For Life Bike Rally, presented by Scotiabank, on Sunday, July 29, 2012. Departing at 9 a.m. from Queen's Park in Toronto, the 2012 Friends For Life Bike Rally is raising money for Toronto People With AIDS Foundation (PWA).
The services provided by PWA are essential to many people in Toronto. People who are HIV positive are living longer, but can have greater challenges. PWA's core services like food programs, treatment resources and financial assistance for men, transmen, transwomen, women and children living with HIV/AIDS in our community are more important than ever.
Glen Murray, MPP Toronto Centre, has joined the Bike Rally for the first time this year. "It was 10 years and 50 pounds ago that I last undertook a long distance fundraising ride. I share the nervousness of other first time riders but I am confident because with each passing day of training, the seat seems more comfortable and the distance a little shorter," said Mr. Murray. "When Premier McGuinty appointed me Minister of Training, Colleges & Universities, I never imagined this was the training he had in mind. I also never realized how inspired I would be by the courage of people living with AIDS."
Noting the need to continue to support people living with HIV/AIDS, Mr. Murray said, "This disease hasn't gone away and neither has the stigma associated with it. PWA's support ranging from the basics of life to the emotional and social support for people dealing with HIV/AIDS is unparalleled and funding is essential to keep the organization running. Knowing this makes it easy to get on my bike for six days and ask people to donate."
Through its Bright Future community giving program, Scotiabank is proud to be on board for the fifth year as presenting sponsor of the Friends For Life Bike Rally and so doing, support the important work of PWA. The event has contributed more than $10 million in the past 13 years to support people living with HIV/AIDS in Toronto. The Bike Rally is a grassroots, volunteer-driven fundraiser that began in 1999 when two friends challenged each other to cycle from Toronto to Montreal to support PWA.
|What:||Friends For Life Bike Rally from Toronto to Montreal to raise funds for Toronto People With Aids Foundation|
|When:||Sunday, July 29, 2012 - Queen's Park, Toronto|
|8:00 a.m.||Departure Ceremony begins and Group Photographs|
|8:30 a.m.||Introduction by Co Chairs, Sherri Byer and Tim Ledger|
|Remarks by Cory Garlough, Scotiabank VP of Business Development & Support Remarks by Murray Jose, PWA Executive Director|
|Remarks by The Honourable Glen Murray, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities|
|Draw for Trip of a Lifetime Raffle|
|8:45 a.m.||Group Stretching|
Where: Queen's Park Toronto - South Lawn
Great photo opportunities will be available as the cyclists ride east on Wellesley Street, south on Yonge Street and east on Queen's Quay. See detailed accompanying route map.
About the Friends For Life Bike Rally
The Friends For Life Bike Rally runs from July 29 - August 3, 2012, with close to 400 Riders and Crew making the 600 km journey from Toronto to Montreal in support of Toronto People With AIDS Foundation. The Bike Rally has raised more than $10 million for PWA since it began in 1999. For more information about the Friends For Life Bike Rally please visit www.bikerally.org.
About Toronto People With AIDS Foundation
Since 1987 PWA has existed to promote the health and well being of all people living with HIV/AIDS by providing accessible, direct and practical support services. PWA is Canada's largest direct support service agency for people living with HIV/AIDS. To learn more please visit www.pwatoronto.org.
Scotiabank is committed to supporting the communities in which we live and work, both in Canada and abroad, through our global philanthropic program, Scotiabank Bright Future. Recognized as a leader internationally and among Canadian corporations for our charitable donations and philanthropic activities, Scotiabank has provided on average approximately $45 million annually to community causes around the world over each of the last five years. Visit us at www.scotiabank.com.
SOURCE: Scotiabank - Sponsorships & Donations
For further information:
Tim Ledger, Friends For Life Bike Rally (647-402-8465; [email protected])
Sherri Byer, Friends For Life Bike Rally (416-834-6559; [email protected])
Dimitrios Alexis, Friends For Life Bike Rally (416-937-4192; [email protected])
Carmelo Millimaci, Friends For Life Bike Rally (416-892-4955; [email protected])
Robert Tomas, Toronto People With AIDS Foundation (416-506-1400, ext. 240; [email protected])
Deborah Clark, Scotiabank Media Communications (416-933-0646; cell: 647-539-1211; [email protected])
Kara Merpaw, Scotiabank Media Communications (416-866-3792; [email protected])