WATERLOO, ON, June 4, 2006 – More than 1,350 cyclists, walkers and volunteers took part in the 14th annual Manulife Bike and Hike for Heart today as organizers continue to tally donations to fight one of Canada’s number one killers – heart disease.
Organizers expect to raise a record $200,000 through donations that go directly to support the St. Mary’s Regional Cardiac Care Centre in Kitchener.
“We will hit a new record today, beyond our original goal of $180,000,” Bruce Gordon, Senior Executive Vice President and General Manager, Canada, for Manulife Financial, told participants at the event. “You should all be very proud of your efforts and the Bike and Hike is a great way for all of us to support healthy hearts and lifestyles. We can have fun, exercise and help ensure our community’s long-term health.”
Participants and their supporters handed in pledges that exceeded $190,000 Sunday and organizers expect to eclipse their original target to raise $200,000 with this year’s Bike and Hike by June 30, the final day to turn in donations.
“We greatly appreciate the community’s overwhelming support for heart health and the cardiac centre,” added Moira Taylor, president of St. Mary’s General Hospital. “The Manulife Bike and Hike has yet again set a high standard in helping us to our goal. Everyone involved should be proud of their contribution to make Waterloo Region a model community for heart health.”
Sunday morning’s events began with breakfast for Corporate Challenge Teams – teams of cyclists and walkers from local businesses and organizations that turned out in record numbers this year.
This year, teams also included “Hearts in Motion”, a team made up of more than 150 current and past patients of St. Mary’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Centre and their families. Clad in distinctive red shirts, the team participated in the three-kilometre walk to support the facility that helped them or their loved ones recover. The Hearts in Motion team was sponsored by Agfa HealthCare.
At 9 a.m., wheels began rolling as cyclists set off on 15- and 25-km tours through the streets of Waterloo. Walkers strolled along three-, five- and eight-kilometre courses.
Donations raised for the 2006 Bike and Hike will support St. Mary’s Regional Cardiac Care Centre, which provides cardiac catheterization, cardiac surgery, angioplasty, cardiac care clinics and cardiac rehabilitation. The program, serving 500,000 residents in the Waterloo Region and surrounding area, offers diagnostics, intensive care and inpatient cardiac care in a full-service program.
Results for the 2006 Manulife Bike and Hike for Heart:
Total donations collected on Sunday, June 4, 2006: More than $190,000 and organizers expect $200,000 will be surpassed by June 30. (Note: Participants have until June 30, 2006 to submit donations)
Agfa HealthCare received a Participation Award for having 172 participants at the event.
Corporate Challenge Results
Winner of the Corporate Challenge “Golden Wheel Award” for the corporate team raising the largest amount of donations per person:
Gold – Manulife Financial Individual Insurance Team
Silver – St. Mary’s Cardiac Program Team
Bronze – Economical Mutual Insurance Team