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BMO200 Marks A Milestone Year of Giving Back
  • BMO has celebrated 200-year legacy of giving back with special community donations and events, the BMO200 fountain and Wish It Forward program; the year will conclude with time capsule commemoration
  • Throughout 2017, more than $69 million has been donated and pledged in select North American markets where the bank does business, coupled with wish fulfillment for bank customers

TORONTO, Nov. 3, 2017 /CNW/ - Throughout BMO's bicentennial year, the bank has been celebrating through community initiatives and donations, and helping individuals across North America, the U.K. and Asia join in giving back through ways most meaningful to them.

The year kicked off with the introduction of the BMO200 fountain and Wish It Forward program – a modern take on throwing a coin into a fountain. Much like the bank, the BMO200 fountain paid homage to tradition while embracing innovation and technology. Individuals were invited to make a wish for the betterment of tomorrow and the chance to be selected to have it come true with the help of BMO.

Some of the wishes the bank and its employees helped fulfill include:

  • Music as a Universal Language - a fully accessible concert in Montreal bringing together the Deaf and hearing communities, featuring internationally renowned Deaf rapper Signmark and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra
  • Lego City at Cape Breton Regional Hospital – more than 35,000 pieces of Lego brought the illustrations of child patients to life in the hospital's pediatric wing for the children to enjoy
  • New Breakfast Programs at Regina Schools – six elementary schools will benefit from a $20,000 bank donation to the Breakfast Club of Canada in Saskatchewan, made available to all students
  • Visual Identity for Dragon Boat Team – executed by BMO designers and inspired by a Dragon Boat team of breast cancer survivors in Montreal, the new logo and branded promotional gear will help them raise money for breast cancer research
  • Resources for Chicago-area Foster Kids – the bank worked with Micah, a local 13 year old, to fill 2,000 backpacks with essentials for local foster kids

"We are proud of the work done throughout this milestone year. The success of the BMO200 fountain to inspire lasting change in our communities speaks directly to who we are as a company", said Darryl White, CEO, BMO Financial Group. "I am confident that these efforts will have a lasting impact, and that we have set the groundwork to continue to shape our future alongside our customers – with the same promise to help that we've always had." 

In addition to the over 25,000 wishes generated through the BMO200 fountain, more than $69 million was donated and pledged in major markets across North America for healthcare, education, and arts & culture initiatives.

In a separate effort to bring the celebration down to the local level, over 450 BMO branch employees across 8 markets recognized outstanding customers and members of the community by helping to give back to causes personally meaningful to them. Some of these efforts included:

  • Recognizing customer Tommy Des Brisay, an autistic marathon runner from Ottawa, and helping to spread his inspiring message of autism awareness across Canada and the U.S. by wearing his t-shirts in BMO branches on World Autism Awareness Day
  •  Honouring Chicago-area customer George Buck's commitment to the local Boys & Girls club by transforming an old, unused weight room into a safe and positive space for local teens to call their own
  • Helping 88-year old Dr. Jim Smart, a retired veterinarian in Saskatoon, with his annual farm harvest that will allow for over 1,000 pounds of vegetables to be donated to local food banks

Finally, Canada's first bank will wrap up its celebration with the creation of a BMO200 time capsule. The capsule will include items that honour this past year and BMO's history, while leaving a tangible reminder to show future generations what BMO looked like in 2017. Items will include one of the physical flip dots that made up the interactive BMO200 fountain, a copy of A Vision Greater than Themselves, the illustrated history of the bank commissioned to mark the anniversary and a book preserving moments defined by 45,000 BMO employees who worked to build stronger communities, by giving their time, energy and financial support to organizations and individuals needing a helping hand. The bank also held a multi-city celebratory event for employees, hosted by new CEO Darryl White

For a look back at all the #BMO200 wishes and help given this year, visit http://bit.ly/2zamSq0 and join the conversation on social.

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817, and currently marking its 200th year of operations, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified financial services provider based in North America. With total assets of $709 billion as of July 31, 2017, and more than 45,000 employees, BMO provides a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers and conducts business through three operating groups: Personal and Commercial Banking, Wealth Management and BMO Capital Markets.

SOURCE BMO Financial Group

For further information: Media Contacts: Michelle Agnelo, Toronto, michelle.agnelo@bmo.com, (416) 867-3996; Matt Duffin, Toronto, matthew.duffin@bmo.com, (416) 867-3996; Valerie Doucet, Montreal, valerie.doucet@bmo.com, (514) 877-8224, Web: www.bmo.com, Twitter: @BMOmedia

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