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BMO Bank of Montreal Employees' ‘I Believe' Wristband Campaign Raises $100,000 for Simcoe-Muskoka Regional Cancer Centre in Barrie

A local BMO Bank of Montreal employee-driven fundraising campaign has reached its goal of raising $100,000 for the proposed Simcoe-Muskoka Regional Cancer Centre at Royal Victoria Hospital (RVH) through the sale of inspirational blue wristbands.

In April 2005, Barrie BMO Bank of Montreal employees joined with their clients and the surrounding community to launch the ‘I Believe' blue wristband campaign to raise money for the proposed cancer centre at RVH.  The distinctive wristbands were sold across Simcoe County and orders were even received from BMO branches across Canada.  The campaign was also assisted by the generosity of Barrie's local small business owners, retailers, shopping malls, and school boards, all of whom joined in the fundraising drive.  The wristbands, inscribed with the phrase ‘I Believe', represents the community's hope and belief in building the much needed local cancer centre.

“We are extremely proud that our employees have been instrumental in helping promote the development of a top cancer treatment centre in Barrie,” said Rob Crema, Simcoe Area Manager for BMO Bank of Montreal. “These collective efforts have brought us one step closer to bringing cancer-care options for this community closer to home.”

“BMO Bank of Montreal is a good friend of Royal Victoria Hospital, both corporately and at the grassroots level in the branches,” said David Blenkarn, chair of the RVH Foundation.  “The ‘I Believe' wristbands echo the sentiments of this community.  People believe there's a critical need for a cancer centre; and we all believe together we can make a difference.”

The development of the Simcoe-Muskoka Regional Cancer Care Facility at RVH has been planned for many years to relieve pressure on similar centres in Toronto and Sudbury.  The hospital and community are now working very hard to make this dream a reality.

The cheque presentation was held at the BMO Bank of Montreal Branch at Allandale Marketplace at 279 Yonge Street in Barrie.

BMO employees have a long tradition of being active fundraisers for the Royal Victoria Hospital in Barrie.  Each year, BMO chairs the Crystal Classic Gala Dinner and Golf Tournament on behalf of the RVH and over the past ten years the funds collected from this event have risen from less than $20,000 a year to a record high of $230,000 in 2004.

There are 12 BMO Bank of Montreal branches in the Simcoe Muskoka district and BMO is currently constructing a new data centre in Barrie.

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