CIBC creates a miracle by helping to build Canada's leading universal accessible playground
$150,000 Donation will help to create a place where children of all abilities can play TORONTO, June 11 /CNW/ - CIBC (CM: TSX;NYSE) - CIBC World Markets Children's Foundation, announced today that it has donated $150,000 to Neshama Playground, a universal accessible playground being built at Oriole Park in Toronto. The playground will include features to engage and integrate children with a range of physical and cognitive skills and abilities. "On behalf of the leadership behind Neshama Playground, and the children who will use it, we commend the CIBC World Markets Children's Foundation for being a first mover in helping us create a premier universal accessible place for children of all abilities to play together," said Melony Jamieson, president of Get it Done Inc. and one of the key organizers behind Neshama Playground. "CIBC's early and generous financial support for this initiative has helped recruit other donors. This support will ensure Neshama is not only going to be the best playground in Toronto but also a model for future universal playgrounds. CIBC's gift will ultimately help children with disabilities in other centres throughout the province and the country," adds Ms. Jamieson. Neshama, meaning "one soul" in Hebrew, is a joint initiative between a local citizens group, who are fundraising $1 million from the private sector, and the City of Toronto, who are contributing the land at Oriole Park and other infrastructure supports for this revolutionary playground. With the lead donation from CIBC World Markets Children's Foundation, donations to this playground total more than $700,000 to date. Beyond accessible physical play structures for children with physical disabilities, Neshama will also create opportunities for creative, sensory, educational and dramatic play experiences to stimulate children with different skills or cognitive conditions. Accessible features such as washrooms, paths, and seating will also accommodate parents with special needs. Neshama has convened an Accessibility Advisory Council of leading community service organizations to provide input about the needs of children with a wide range of skills and abilities. "The CIBC World Markets Children's Foundation was established to make a difference in the lives of children and to help prepare them for their future," says John Gildner, Managing Director with CIBC World Markets. "Neshama Playground will make a real difference for many children who, up to now, have been excluded from many of our parks and playgrounds because of existing barriers to entry, prohibitive surfaces, inaccessible structures, inappropriate play spaces and transportation issues. "All kids should have the right to play and, thanks to the vision and commitment of Thomas and Theo Caldwell, who are driving the private sector fundraising, and the City of Toronto, we will soon have a playground that is accessible and inclusive for all." On the first Wednesday of December every year, CIBC World Markets sales and trading professionals and CIBC Wood Gundy Investment Advisors help create miracles for children through Miracle Day. On this day, fees and commissions are donated to charities dedicated to improving the health, well-being and education of children. Since its inception in 1984, more than $190 million has been raised to benefit children in our communities globally. CIBC is committed to supporting causes that matter to our clients, our employees and our communities. We aim to make a difference in communities through corporate donations, sponsorships and the volunteer spirit of employees. With a strategic focus on youth, education and health, and employee commitment to causes including the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure, United Way and the CIBC World Markets Children's Foundation, we are investing in the social and economic development of communities across the country. In 2007, CIBC group of companies contributed more than $36 million worldwide to charitable organizations and community initiatives. Of this, $27 million was invested in Canada to support national, regional and local organizations. To learn more, visit www.cibc.com/pas For more information about Neshama Playground and how to get involved or make a donation, visit www.neshamaplayground.ca or call 416-304-3931.
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For further information: Kevin Dove, Director, Communications, CIBC, Tel: (416) 980-8835, firstname.lastname@example.org