Three-day road trip cycles $206,000 to kids' care

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The CIBC 401 Bike Challenge, benefiting the Sarah Cook Fund of the Cedars Cancer Institute of the McGill University Health Centre, has raised $205,802.11 - an increase of almost 50 per cent from last year's event.
During the course of three days, 27 cyclists tested their endurance and stamina as they completed a 576-kilometre ride to Montreal from Toronto to help children with cancer and their families.
Seven years ago, inspired by his wife Angie's battle with cancer and grateful for the health of his children, CIBC Wood Gundy investment adviser Gene Piccoli launched an initiative to support children with cancer.
On hearing the story of Sarah Cook, a girl who had been treated at the Montreal Children's Hospital at the age of 8 for Ewing's sarcoma, he chose to partner with a fund she had helped to establish in 2001.
Through the fund, administered by the Cedars Cancer Institute, money raised from the event will support The Montreal Children's Hospital, which is part of the MUHC, and Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children.
"It is the generosity of our donors and the incredible commitment of our supporters such as Gene and Angie Piccoli and the CIBC 401 Bike Challenge that allows our family, Sarah's Fund and the Cedars Cancer Institute to forge ahead with our vision for a future without cancer," said Norman and Lorena Cook, Sarah's parents and co-chairs of the Sarah Cook Fund.
The CIBC 401 Bike Challenge, now in its seventh edition, has raised more than $380,000 for children with cancer.
VIA Rail Canada provided one-way transportation to Toronto from Montreal for the riders and crew members: they left from the Hospital for Sick Children on Aug. 10, had lunch at City Hall in Port Hope that first day and spent the night in Belleville after a 190-kilometre ride.
The second day, the riders were on the road by 7 a.m. and pedalled 255 kilometres - travelling through Kingston, the Thousand Islands Parkway and Brockville to arrive in Cornwall by sundown. On Aug. 12, they arrived in Montreal, where they were greeted by friends, family and supporters on the lawn of the Montreal Children's.
The Sarah Cook Fund addresses the needs of Sarah's Floor, the in-patient Hematology/Oncology division at the Montreal Children's, including renovations and upgrades to the floor, development and support of art therapy, participation in the acquisition of the first intraoperative MRI at a Canadian pediatric hospital (a tool in the care and treatment of children with brain tumours), as well as continuing education for nurses.
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Nazareth House, a not-forprofit residence in Shaughnessy Village for homeless men with mental-health problems, held its 13th annual Father John Walsh Golf Tournament on June 13 at Lafleur Golf Course in Kahnawake. Despite the damp weather that day, golfers had a great time - and $19,000 was raised. Following the tournament, there were trophies for the best foursome and prizes for all, an excellent roastbeef dinner was served, and professional boxing referee Michael Griffin gave a fine speech.
Father Walsh is honorary president of Nazareth House, which provides residents with a chance to escape the revolving-door syndrome that is so often a part of life for homeless people with mental-health problems: they are admitted to hospital, then discharged into the community with no support or backup, and it is only a matter of time before they are readmitted to hospital.
A family member of a resident describes the place as a blessing for the way it provides residents with a community life and a family atmosphere. For more information, go to
There were 800 people at the sixth benefit show at the Monument National for the Docteur Maurice Bertrand Foundation. The event, which featured performances by singers Florence K and Zachary Richard, raised $200,000.
The foundation, established in 1980 by a group of people dedicated to helping cancer patients who choose to remain at home during the final phase of their life, raises money from individuals, community organizations, corporate sponsors, government grants and subsidies to support the Palliative Home-Care Society of Greater Montreal, formerly l'Association d'Entraide Ville-Marie. The society has helped more than 35,000 patients and their families.
The $200,000 raised through the May 19 benefit will pay for care and services for 1,300.
Principal sponsor of the event was Tetra Pak; Marguerite Blais, provincial minister responsible for seniors, was the evening's guest of honour. For more about the foundation, go to www.