Several celebrities that included musicians, actors and athletes took part in CIBC Miracle Day on the CIBC trading floor in downtown Toronto.
CIBC Miracle Day began in 1984 and every year, on the first Wednesday of December, the CIBC Capital Markets team and CIBC Wood Gundy Investment Advisors donate their fees and commissions to help kids in need. To date, the annual event has raised $234 million and has helped to improve the lives of millions of children globally.
The money is managed by the CIBC Children’s Foundation, a registered charity that administers the funds. 560 charities across Canada received almost 6 million in funding in 2015.
Celebrities are involved in the event each year. This year I got to meet John O’Hurley who played Elaine’s boss Jacopo Peterman. International group The Tenors were also there to say help to members of the trading floor, youth from various organizations and some members of the press. Several athletes were involved as well like Mike “Pinball” Clemons.
I also got a chance to chat with a few of the organizations that these funds go to help to find out how important the CIBC Miracle Day investment is.
Childhood Cancer Canada is an organization that raises funds for several of their initiatives that help children affected by cancer and their families.
One of these initiatives is the emPower Packs. These are packages that include information about the disease for both parents and patients, as well as fun stuff like toys for both the affected child and his/her siblings.
Amazing Adventures include tickets for kids to attend sports games, live shows and other events. Each year, kids also get a tour of the set of Murdoch Mysteries with the star of the show Yannick Bisson, a proud supporter of Childhood Cancer Canada with his wife Shantelle.
After recovery, when the kids are older, the organization offers what are called Survivor Scholarships that include a grant for post-secondary educations. The grants are for $1500 and for $5000 if the education is going to in someway have the same goal as Childhood Cancer Canada. This is usually reserved for grad students in the sciences. The great thing is that the scholarship program has not had to turn anyone away. Last year, the grant was awarded to 171 students, up from 140 the year before.
The final way that funds are used at Childhood Cancer Canada is for research. The research portion of donated funds go to the C17 network of Canadian research hospitals that all pool their research and data to more efficiently find new cures and ways to improve how we deal with childhood cancer patients.
Learn more about Childhood Cancer Canada on their website.
Project AIM provides camp, therapy and respite for kids with special needs. The founders of this organization had a tough time finding camp programs that were inclusive to their children’s needs as well as camps that provided on site therapy so youth wouldn’t miss out on their regular therapy while at camp.
On top of kids who have physical disabilities, the camp also caters to kids with behavioural issues as well as those on the autism spectrum.
The summer camp program had 70 campers this year, all with 1 to 1 workers who are trained and experienced in the field. During the year, winter camp and respite programs are run my volunteers, many of them staff from the summer camp programs who wish to continue working with their 1 to 1 camper.
The biggest challenge for Project AIM is not having a permanent and wheelchair accessible venue. They currently operate a small home that they use for respite and they rent out various locations for different programs throughout the year as well. A year round community centre would greatly improve their programs and ability to better serve their clients. This centre would also help them with the wait list they have for children with physical disabilities that they are just unable to provide for.
Learn more about Project AIM from their website.
You can learn about CIBC Miracle Day from their website.