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Posted: April 24, 2009  : Add to Mixx!

Athletics: Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon & 5k Charity Challenge expands to fifteen charities

Eleventh anniversary event aims to surpass $1.2 million mark in funds raised for local charities

VANCOUVER, April 23 /CNW/ - Representatives and clients from fifteen local charities joined Scotiabank today to unveil a fundraising goal of $300,000 for the 2009 Scotiabank Group Charity Challenge and mark the count down to the Eleventh Anniversary Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon & 5k (SVHM), which takes place Sunday, June 28, 2009.

In its ten year history, the SVHM has raised $950,000 for local charities and hopes to surpass the $1.2 million mark in cumulative funds raised this year. Due to the overwhelming success of the past ten years, the SVHM has expanded the Scotiabank Group Charity Challenge to fifteen charities for the upcoming 2009 event. Increasing the scope of this unique fundraising and awareness opportunity will boost event participation and fundraising dollars to support the following charities whose programs and services assist hundreds of thousands of clients across the province each year:

	    -   Adoptive Families Association of B.C.
	    -   Alzheimer's Society of B.C.
	    -   The Arthritis Society, B.C. & Yukon Division
	    -   BC Cancer Foundation
	    -   BC Children's Hospital Foundation
	    -   Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver
	    -   Big Sisters of B.C. Lower Mainland
	    -   BC SPCA
	    -   CNIB
	    -   The Heart and Stroke Foundation of B.C. & Yukon
	    -   The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada
	    -   MS Society of Canada - BC & Yukon Division
	    -   St. Paul's Hospital Foundation
	    -   Tapestry Foundation for Health Care
	    -   YWCA Vancouver

"Event participants have embraced the Charity Challenge because it enables them to fundraise for the charity of their choice. We're pleased to expand the number of participating charities to give participants and the community even more choice," said Rob Wilkins, Scotiabank's Vice-President, Downtown Vancouver and Northern B.C. District. "To help surpass the $1.2 million dollar mark in cumulative funds raised, Scotiabank is pleased to offer reduced entry fees for all runners and walkers who fundraise for one of the fifteen charities."

The Bank will offer the early bird registration fee of $30 to 5k participants and $50 to half-marathoners who commit to fundraising, regardless of when they register for the event. Scotiabank is also sponsoring three team prizes, each worth $5,000. The charities that raise the most money, raise the most money per runner and have the most runners participating (with a minimum of $10 raised per runner) will each win $5,000.

The Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon & 5k is part of the prestigious Canada Running Series. As one of Vancouver's premier running events, the SVHM attracts more than 4,500 runners and walkers of all levels, including many elite athletes and visitors to the city. "Vancouver is always a popular runner's destination," said Clifton Cunningham, Race Director, Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon & 5k. "As one of the most scenic half-marathons in the Pacific Northwest, the run attracts participants from all across Canada, the U.S. and around the world."

Scotiabank is one of North America's premier financial institutions and Canada's most international bank. In 2008 the Bank provided more than $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. To learn more about how Scotiabank supports the communities where its employees live and work please visit. On-line registration closes June 22, 2008. To register or to donate to one of the fifteen charitable recipients, please visit ScotiaBank.com. www.vancouverhalf.com.


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