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CIBC commits $150,000 to help revitalize National Capital Region YMCA-YWCA for a healthier community

Helping upgrade the Y to meet ever-increasing demand for programs and services

OTTAWA, Dec. 4 /CNW/ - CIBC (CM: TSX;NYSE) today announced a $150,000 commitment to help transform the National Capital Region YMCA-YWCA by expanding its Metro Central and Orleans Branches, redeveloping the Bonnenfant Y Outdoor Centre and introducing new programs and services.

The donation will be made at 1 p.m., Saturday, December 5, at the Grand Opening of CIBC's newest branch in Orleans, located at the corner of Innes Road and Belcourt Boulevard. The new branch, which offers service in English and French, replaces CIBC's Orleans Gardens location.

The funds support the Strengthening the Heart of our Community capital campaign that is raising money to grow the Y's services and programs and upgrade aging facilities to meet ever-increasing demand.

CIBC's investment names the 5,000 square-foot CIBC Leadership and Training Centre in the Metro Central Branch at 180 Argyle Avenue. The CIBC Centre will support Employment Services by providing life skills and employability programs, seminars, and computer literacy. It will also provide fitness certification, coaching and instructor certification, CPR and AED training, nutrition and health programs, continuing education, and arts and crafts supporting youth and children's programs.

"We are very grateful to CIBC for its continuing support of our quest to serve more than 150,000 people a year," said Tony Pacheco, President and CEO of the National Capital Region YMCA-YWCA. "This revitalization is so important to our community. Major research studies warn us about our city's increasing challenges. While Ottawa is one of the most prosperous cities in Canada, our community is plagued by a widening gap between rich and poor.

"Youth violence is on the rise and more and more young people are joining gangs," added Pacheco. He also note that Health Canada reports that 50% of Canadians are out of shape and 55% admit that they never exercise. "Today's kids are the least fit generation of Canadian kids since measurements have been taken. Also, families are under mounting stress to balance work and family responsibilities in order to meet the demands of everyday life. To help reverse these trends in our community, we need to upgrade and expand to offer cutting-edge programs that teach values, promote healthy lifestyles and impact the lives of even more young people, families, and older adults."

"Helping youth achieve their full potential by investing in their education and development is an important part of our community investment program," said Mary Bellefeuille, CIBC's Vice-President of Retail Markets for Ontario East & North. "In the NCR, employees of CIBC have also been helping the Y raise funds for more than seven years to support their community programs. CIBC is also involved with the Y's enterprise and newcomer services by providing business leadership support for new businesses through the highly successful Service Canada Youth Entrepreneurship Project (YEP)."

CIBC's contributions to the National Capital Region YMCA-YWCA now total nearly $340,000. In 2009, CIBC invested more than $7 million into hundreds of organizations in communities across the country to benefit young people.

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, the CIBC Children's Foundation and United Way, we are investing in the social and economic development of communities across the country. In 2009, almost $27 million was contributed through the CIBC group of companies to charitable and non-profit initiatives in Canada, supporting a wide variety of national, regional and local organizations. To learn more, visit

For further information: Doug Maybee, Director, External Communications and Media Relations, CIBC, Tel: (416) 980-7458, or Sylvie Madely, Vice President, Financial Development and Communications, NCR YMCA-YWCA, Tel: (613) 237-1320 ext. 5045,