Nov 23, 2010

Kids Across Canada Skate with their Heroes to Create Miracles

TORONTO, Nov. 23 /CNW/ - On Thursday, 40 children from Toronto area charities will get a chance to skate with some of the country's sports legends and entertainment stars in celebration of CIBC's 26th annual Miracle Day.

Children from Big Brothers Big Sisters Toronto; Children's Aid Foundation; Hockey Education Reaching Out Society; and Holland Bloorview Kids Rehab Foundation will join three-time Olympic Gold Medalist Marnie McBean; Canadian Idol winner Theo Tams; TV and movie star Aaron Ashmore; So You Think You Can Dance judge Blake McGrath; and CIBC traders and advisors on the ice at U of T's Varsity Arena. For some of the kids it will be their first time on skates and for others it is a chance to show their skills off to some of their heroes and the bankers who've helped them along the way. Representatives from Toronto Sledge Hockey will also be at the skate to give participants a chance to play some sledge hockey.

"For too many of these children, things that most kids take for granted like owning a pair of skates and feeling the thrill of gliding across the ice, just aren't possible for financial or health reasons," says Len Gamache, President, Children's Aid Foundation. "This event is a great reminder that many children need our support and of the important work the CIBC Children's Foundation does in our community."

Since 1984, on the first Wednesday in December, CIBC's wholesale banking employees and Wood Gundy Investment Advisors have donated their fees and commissions to over 400 children's charities across Canada as part of CIBC Miracle Day. To date, more than $55 million has been raised to improve the lives of children across the country.

Joshua Gardner knows firsthand the importance of CIBC Miracle Day. As a child he participated in a special needs hockey league, made possible by some of the close to $4 million donated to the Children's Aid Foundation from CIBC Miracle Day. He says being able to play in the league increased his self-esteem and gave him the confidence to pursue his goals. A graduate of Seneca College's Vocational program, Joshua recently enrolled in the Hospitality Services program at Centennial College.

"Being able to join a team and play hockey has made a huge difference in my life," says Joshua. "I don't think I would have gone to college without the help of the Children's Aid Foundation and the generous support by CIBC." Joshua will be at the CIBC Miracle Day skate to encourage participants and share his story.

"By hosting this event we hope to highlight the fact that many children in our communities continue to need our support," says Richard Nesbitt, Chairman and CEO, CIBC World Markets Inc. "For the past 25 years, we have worked with our clients to support and improve the quality of life for Canadian children. What started with the simple belief that by working together we could make a difference has grown into one of Canada's largest single-day corporate fundraisers for children."

This year CIBC Miracle Day will be held on Wednesday, December 1, 2010.

CIBC Miracle Day Skate Details

What: Children from Toronto area charities skate with sports legends, entertainment stars and bankers in celebration of CIBC's 26th annual Miracle Day
When: Thursday, November 25, 2010
Time: 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 pm
Where: University of Toronto, Varsity Blues Arena

40 children from:
- Big Brother Big Sisters Toronto
- Children's Aid Foundation
- Hockey Education Reaching Out Society (H.E.R.O.S.)
- Holland Bloorview Kids Rehab Foundation
- Representatives from Toronto Sledge Hockey
  CIBC senior executives and senior leaders

Special guests include:
- Marnie McBean, Three-time Olympic Gold Medalist
- Aaron Ashmore, TV & Movie Star
- Theo Tams, 2008 Canadian Idol Winner
- Blake McGrath, So You Think You Can Dance Canada Judge
- Simon Bennett, Toronto Marlies Announcer
RSVP: Susan Calderwood, 416-861-3505,

About CIBC
CIBC is committed to supporting causes that matter to our clients, employees and our communities. We aim to make a difference in communities through corporate donations, sponsorships and the volunteer spirit of employees. With a strategic focus on youth, education and health, and employee commitment to causes including the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure, the CIBC Children's Foundation and United Way, we are investing in the social and economic development of communities across the country. In 2009, $27 million was contributed through the CIBC group of companies to charitable and non-profit initiatives in Canada, supporting a wide variety of national, regional and local organizations. To learn more, visit

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For further information:

Kevin Dove, Communications and Public Affairs, CIBC, at 416-980-8835,