CIBC Miracle Fund and Renewed Support for Children's Aid Foundation
CIBC Children's Foundation has donated $500,000 to the Children's Aid Foundation (CAF) to renew the CIBC Miracle Fund. Rik Parkhill, Managing Director and Head of Cash Equities, announced CIBC's continued commitment to CAF at The Teddy Bear Affair, one of the organization's top fundraising events.
Since 1999, 4,300 at-risk children were granted a Miracle because of the CIBC Miracle Fund and CAF. Operating in nine major cities across Canada, the CIBC Miracle Fund gives disadvantaged children and youth opportunities such as the chance to play a sport, take an art class, go on a class trip or receive school supplies.
"It was great to be able to announce CIBC's half-a-million-dollar donation to CAF in front of hundreds of people committed to the success of the organization, many of whom are clients and whose trades on Miracle Day made the donation possible," says Rik Parkhill, a member of CIBC Children's Foundation National Donations Committee.
The CIBC Miracle Fund was created in Toronto 10 years ago and expanded nationally in 2004 to include Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Regina, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver.
"CIBC's renewed support of the Fund and the Children's Aid Foundation will allow CAF to continue their work with abused, neglected and at-risk children and youth, delivering access to funds for things like culture, music, sports and school activities," adds Rik.
"The Children's Aid Foundation is grateful for CIBC's entrepreneurial spirit in creating the CIBC Miracle Fund, and envisioning a future where all Canadian children and youth have the same opportunities to experience the wonder of childhood," said Ann Barnard Ball, CFRE, Executive Director, Children's Aid Foundation.
CIBC Miracle Day helps make playgrounds accessible for all
Adam Markwell, an Investment Advisor at CIBC Wood Gundy in Toronto, knows first-hand the impact CIBC Children's Foundation has had on important projects like the Neshama Playground, a playground designed for all children. Adam has two young children, and spends a lot of time in these urban outdoor spaces.
"It didn't take me long to realize that there aren't many opportunities for children with special needs at public playgrounds", said Adam, a Campaign Cabinet member for Neshama Playground as well as an active volunteer with several other youth-related charities. "I'm proud that CIBC Children's Foundation has been a leader in this initiative by generously helping Neshama to meet their fundraising goals. I'll be happy when all kids have access to play areas that meet their needs. This is the first step."
CIBC Children's Foundation was the lead donor with a $150,000 commitment to this playground, which has raised more than $700,000 to date.
Neshama is a joint initiative between a local citizens group - who are fundraising $1 million from the private sector - and the City of Toronto, to help build this revolutionary playground. Neshama playground will include accessible physical play structures for children with physical and cognitive disabilities and accessible features such as washrooms, paths and seating that will also accommodate parents with special needs.
"Neshama is proud to have CIBC's support in this important initiative. Their leadership and generous financial support not only has helped us to recruit additional funds for the program, but has also ensured that Neshama will become a model for future playground structures which allows children of all abilities to play together. We want every child to have fun," says Tom Caldwell, one of the driving forces behind the Neshama project.
CIBC Children's Foundation helps change the lives of children
Since 2001, CIBC Children's Foundation has donated almost $200,000 to Integra, the only children's mental health centre in Ontario that specializes in assisting children and youth with learning disabilities. Learning disabilities are estimated to affect more than three million Canadians and are the most common form of disability for children aged 5 to 14.
"I never paid much attention to the effects my learning disability (LD) had on my life," said Keir Thompson, a recipient of counseling at Integra, including the Find a Friend Group Counseling Program. "I guess I knew that my behaviour put people off but I just made myself believe that being on my own, being a loner, was okay. I didn't know that I could actually change my lack of enthusiasm for life."
Integra provides information, advocacy and therapeutic support for youth between the ages of 8 and 18 and their families. In 2009, CIBC Children's Foundation's $25,000 donation continued to fund the Find a Friend program that helps youth improve their ability to interact socially and make friends, abilities that they often seriously lack. These are skills that have been shown to increase individual resilience and success in life.
"I only 'saw the light' when Integra put me into Find a Friend group therapy sessions where I learned to have fun socializing. I now do much better in school. I learned how to talk openly with my fellow students and my teachers," said Keir. "I actually think about the future now and make plans. Integra did help me find a better way of life and I am grateful for that."
CIBC Miracle Day helps to "Share the Music" with over 1,400 kids
On February 1, 2011, a diverse group of youths from schools around Toronto participated in an evening of music, education and inspiration made possible through Roy Thomson Hall and Massey Hall's Share the Music program. The evening included a performance by Jazz legend Wynton Marsalis, as well as a pre-concert meeting between Marsalis and the group.
Funded through CIBC Miracle Day for the past two years, Share the Music is an arts and education outreach program presented by the Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall. Attending the event was Jackie Moss, CIBC Executive Vice-President, Human Resources and James Beattie, Managing Director, Institutional Cash Equity Trading, who together presented CIBC's recent $25,000 contribution.
"At CIBC, we believe that it's important to support youth and the growth of tomorrow's leaders," said Jackie Moss. "We're honoured to support Share the Music as well as hundreds of other initiatives for young people in our communities."
Share the Music enriches and inspires young people by exposing them to world-renowned performers and related pre-concert educational workshops. The workshops, usually created and hosted by noted local performers and educators, are a mix of informative commentary, musical demonstrations and interactive activities that stimulate and broaden the student's understanding of the art. Participants are selected from priority schools in the GTA.
"The value of this unique experience in the life and education of a child is immeasurable," said James Beattie, "I am proud that we are able to help provide this enhancement opportunity to kids that wouldn't otherwise be available to them, through the contributions of our clients and employees on CIBC Miracle Day."
The complete line-up of 2010-11 performances that range from Vivaldi to Ladysmith Black Mambazo can be viewed at Share the Music Events.
Share the Music