MONTREAL, Nov. 26, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - Over lunch today, the stairwell at Place Ville Marie echoed with cries of encouragement and the thundering steps of over 500 amateur and professional athletes who took part in the 17th edition of the RBC Challenge for Centraide. These caring people formed teams to climb all 1,000 steps of the 41 floors to the top of Montreal's famous downtown tower. The event raised a record amount of $188,500, or $8,500 more than last year. All of the proceeds will go towards the 2014 Centraide Campaign to support the actions of 362 agencies and projects that fight poverty and social exclusion and that help one out of seven people in Greater Montreal.
These 500 amateur athletes from companies in downtown Montreal exchanged their ties and high heels for shorts and running shoes to go head to head with a team of eight high-level Canadian athletes who also took part in the event: Lex Albrecht (cycling, two-time Quebec champion), Caroline Calvé (snowboarding, 3rd in the World Cup circuit), Hugues Fournel (kayaking, 7th place in the 2012 London Olympic Games), Marc-Antoine Gagnon (freestyle skiing, top 5 World Cup finish in 2013), Marie-Claude Molnar (para-cycling, bronze medalist at the 2012 London Paralympic Games), Pierre-Alexandre Rousseau (freestyle skiing, gold medalist at the 2007 World Championships) and Caroline Ouellette (ice hockey, gold medalist at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games) received advice from coach Benoît St-Amand, gold medalist in sledge hockey at the 2006 Paralympic Games.
The runners tried to beat the record set in 2003 by climbing 41 floors in under 2 minutes and 41 seconds. The record was beaten, as the best time was achieved by the team of athletes, who raced up the tower in 2 minutes and 38 seconds.
This charity competition is organized by RBC in collaboration with Place Ville Marie.
Royal Bank of Canada is Canada's largest bank, and one of the largest banks in the world, based on market capitalization. We are one of North America's leading diversified financial services companies, and provide personal and commercial banking, wealth management services, insurance, investor services and capital markets products and services on a global basis. We employ approximately 79,000 full- and part-time employees who serve more than 16 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 42 other countries. For more information, please visit www.rbc.com.
RBC supports a broad range of community initiatives through donations, sponsorships and employee volunteer activities. In 2013, we contributed more than $104 million to causes worldwide, including donations and community investments of more than $69 million and $35 million in sponsorships. Learn more at www.rbc.com/community-sustainability.
Centraide of Greater Montreal is an independent organization managed by a board of directors that is representative of the community. It serves the Island of Montreal, Laval, and communities on the South Shore. Centraide supports community-based agencies and projects that help half a million people. Some 57,000 volunteers are involved in the agencies supported by Centraide, and another 23,000 work on its annual campaign. Centraide is supported by some 1,700 private and public corporations and organizations as well as by large trade unions.
Anyone who wants to make a donation can call 514 288-1261 or consult www.centraide-mtl.org.
SOURCE: Centraide of Greater Montreal
For further information: Annick Gagnon, Centraide of Greater Montreal, Phone: 514 288-1261, extension 242, firstname.lastname@example.org; Raymond Chouinard, RBC, Phone: 514 874-6556, email@example.com