Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon 2011 Charity & Neighbourhood Awards Night “all smiles”!

  • “To run is a joy but to run for someone else is a privilege”, CES Canada

FLASH (Stephane Hetherington) receiving his award -- Best Costume: Marathon -- from Reid Coolsaet. Flash's 2:35:05 narrowly missed the Guinness WR for "Superheroes"!

 TORONTO. December 3rd. Huge smiles were the dominant feature at this year’s Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon Awards Night, as more than 200 guests gathered at the bank’s world headquarters on Tuesday evening to receive accolades and prize cheques. An inspirational new video and slide show from this year’s event – held on October 16th– set the tone as the Champions of the 2011 Scotiabank Group Charity Challenge, the Neighbourhood Challenge, “Best Costume” contest, and “Best Store Window” competition were feted and rewarded. Canada’s #1 ranked marathoner, London 2012-Olympic-bound Reid Coolsaet, was also on hand to help hand out awards with Race Director Alan Brookes from the Canada Running Series, Scotiabank representatives Peter Witt and Dayl Marks, and MC and Beach Neighbourhood Champion, Keith Begley. 

More than 200 representatives of charities & neighbourhood groups packed the Schnooner Room at Scotia Plaza for the STWM 2011 Awards Night

This year’s Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and its extensive community programmes were an unparalleled success. A record 22,400 runners and walkers, plus 1,000 schoolchildren registered for this year’s event, up an impressive 22% over last year.  Of these, an impressively large number [5,622] “ran for the sake of others”, for one of the 167 Official Charities in the Scotiabank Group Charity Challenge and Neighbourhood Challenge. Brookes made special mention of the fact that the Virgin London Marathon, which raised over £51 million in April as the world’s largest single-day fundraising event, has about 33% of its runners going the distance for charity. “So STWMs 25% is really huge, and something very special for everyone to feel proud of,” said Peter Witt, Scotia’s Senior Manager of Sponsorships. If further proof were needed, Brookes and Witt supplied it when they announced the fundraising grand total for STWM 2011, of $3,647,729.76. This is up 44% from the $2.534 million raised last Fall.  “It is really remarkable,” said Brookes, “that the fundraising efforts of so many smaller charities can combine to make such an impressive total – to reach into so many corners of the city and the region, to make a very real difference in so many people’s lives. We feel very proud that the sport of running can provide such a great platform for community support.” 

Mario & Luigi at STWM 2011

 First up on the evening was the presentation of an Award of Excellence to Reid Coolsaet of Guelph’s Speed River TFC who ran 2:10:55 on October 16th, the second-fastest marathon ever by a Canadian and the fastest in the last 35 years at STWM 2011. In so doing, Reid also placed himself in a very strong position to represent Canada in the London 2012 Olympic marathon . This will be the first time in 12 years we’ve had a representative for Canada in the signature event of the Games. Reid then presented the Awards for “Best Costume”. 

  • Winner of Best Costume in the marathon: Stephane Hetherington running as superhero “FLASH”. A cheque for $2,500 was presented to Stephane for his charity Start2Finish (formerly KidsFest) on behalf of the bank.  
  • Half marathon winner: John Cheng running as SHAM ROCK received $1,000 for his charity  
  • 5K winners: Loretta Leung (Canadian Cancer Society) & Kitty Chan (Engineers Without Borders for Run to end Poverty) running as MARIO & LUIGI, received $500 for their causes. 
  • 5K winners: Glenn Davis & Kevin West running as COLOURFUL CLOWNS for Project C.A.N.O.E.

An additional special award was presented to JEFFERSON the DOG(David Hiddlestone from MyNextRace)for setting a new Guinness World Record for Fastest Half Marathon by a Mascot (Male). He had smashed the previous record of 1:59:14 with his run of 1:46:27 at STWM 2011! 

St.Lawrence, organized by SLNA, won the Neighbourhood Challenge, raising funds for the Breakfast Programme at Market Lane PS.

 Next up were the Awards for the winners of the Neighbourhood Challenge – where 12 of Toronto’s communities from Swansea High Park in the west to The Beach in the east end vied for bragging rites as Toronto Waterfront’s most-dynamic neighbourhoods. Four celebrity judges cruised the course on Yamaha motorcycles on race day evaluating the dozen neighbourhood cheering and entertainment sites on decor, entertainment, number of spectators, animation and energy supporting the runners. Brookes commented that the Neighbourhood judges had the toughest job of anyone at STWM 2011, as this year’s sites were “the best ever, and contributed enormously to the spirit of the event and the success of the day”! As an introduction, MC Keith Begley, who is also president of the Beaches Lions Club and ran the 42k this year as a Champion for Community Centre 55, the official charity of The Beach neighbourhood.  Two of the judges, Dayl Marks of Scotiabank and Ben Hum from the North American Association of Asian Professionals, handed out the prizes .

Award Neighbourhood  & its charity Prize
Honorable Mention Parkdale/Roncesvalles– Parkdale Activity Recreation Centre $1,000
Honorable Mention Cabbagetown– Cabbagetown Youth Centre $1,000
Most Honourable Mention Liberty Village/King West – St Christopher House $1,250
3rd Place Bloor West/High Park – Welcome To Swansea – Raising funds for Swansea Neighbourhood Association; Swansea Ratepayers; Swansea Town Hall & Swansea Legion $2,000
3rd Place The Beach – Raising funds for Community Centre 55 $2,000
2nd Place Greek Town – Raising funds for

  • Greek Community of Toronto
  • Greek Orthodox Community of Markham
  • Greek Orthodox Community of Mississauga
  • Hellenic Hope Centre ,Hellenic Home
1st Place St. Lawrence Market – Raising funds for The Toronto Foundation for Student Success – Market Lane Public School Breakfast Program $6,000


John Kiru, President of TABIA was on hand to see the “Window Dressing Contest” Award presented to North Reflections on Queen Street East in The Beach Business Improvement Area, who generously donated their $500 cheque to Community Centre 55s Christmas Hamper Campaign.    

 Following an interlude where the new STWM 2011 Charity & Neighbourhoods slideshow was shown (“Making Great Things Happen” ), the awards resumed with the centrepiece of the evening, the Scotiabank Group Charity Challenge. National Charity, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada’s Team in Trainingprogramme and this year’s 3 “Featured Charities” were recognized for their fine efforts and leadership roles.  Team in Training raised  $170,330 this year, bringing their grand total raised at Scotia Toronto Waterfront Marathon since 2003 to $1,141,381.39, crossing the key, million dollar milestone. Featured Charities for 2011 were:   

    • Geneva Centre for Autism Foundation
      • 3rdyear with STWM, Fundraised $87,092.75 this year (up from $54,289.88 last year)
      • Total fundraising to date $180,080.02
    • Matthew House Refugee Reception Services
      • 5thyear with STWM, Fundraised $56,120.95 this year (up from $38,395.26 last year)
      • Total fundraising to date $154,617.33
    • MukiBaum Treatment Centres
      • 3rdyear with us – Fundraised $68,495.95 this year (up from $29,634.95 last year)
      • Total fundraising to date $115,678.90


 As he handed out the Awards, Peter Witt noted that 2011was the 9th year of the Scotiabank Group Charity Challenge at STWM – and set a string of remarkable new records, exceeding all expectations. “There is no doubt,” said Witt, “that your efforts have made the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Scotiabank Group Charity Challenge the bank’s #1, signature fundraising programme globally. Congratulations and THANKS!” The $3.64 million grand total raised was not just a new mark, but a 44% increase over 2010! This was achieved by a record total of 156 charities in the Charity Challenge, who collectively crushing the pre-set goal of $2.75 million… “now that’s something to cheer about!”

Category Charity (amount raised ) Prize # Years of Participation, Total Fundraising to date
Largest Amount of Pledges  – 3rd Place Yee Hong Community Wellness Foundation ($113,643.29)  $  2,000 Total to date: $375,413.674th year
Largest Amount of Pledges – 2nd Place Salt & Light Catholic Media Foundation – Fountain of Love and Life ($121,369.64)  $  3,000 Total to date: $181,105.972nd year
Largest of Amount of Pledges  – 1st Place Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation ($512,000.00)  $  6,000 Total to date: $512,0001st year
Most Participants- 3rd Place Epilepsy Toronto (192 fundraisers over $20)  $  2,000 Total to date: $454,161.80Since beginning – 9th year
Most Participants- 2nd Place A Run To Remember – supported by Armenian Community Centre (205 fundraisers over $20)  $  3,000 Total to date: $83,838.004th year
Most Participants – 1st Place  Geneva Centre for Autism Foundation (233 fundraisers over $20)  $  6,000 Total to date: $180,080.023rd year
Largest Amount of Pledge Dollars per Participant- 3rd Place Sanfilippo Children’s Research Foundation – For Elisa For Life & Strides For Sophie ($2,545.18)  $  2,000 1st official year: $91,626.48Fundraised on their own: $76,000 last year 1st year
Largest Amount of Pledge Dollars per Participant- 2nd Place Canada ALPHA Educational Fund ($3,483.55)  $  3,000 This year: $69,671.00Total to date: $111,915.343rd year
Largest Amount of Pledge Dollars per Participant – 1st Place  Sheena’s Place ($3,878.80)  $  6,000 This year: $38,788.00Total to date: $70,996.714th year


To round off the evening, Awards of Recognition & Appreciation were handed out to “STWM Builders”, Jim Tobin of Scotiabank and Angie Antoniou of Transportation Services at the City of Toronto; to Charity Challenge Director Anh Vuong and Assistant Catherion Marion, and Neighbourhood Activation Manager Bonnie “Tornado” Taylor, all of the Canada Running Series Team; to supporting Sponsors; and to Tourism Toronto and City of Toronto partners – “without whose partnership and support, none of this could have happened,” said Race Director Alan Brookes. 

Everyone then adjourned for coffee and desert, mixing and mingling, and the formation of a lengthy line to have their photos taken with Reid Coolsaet! Applications for the 2012 Scotiabank Group Charity Challenge at STWM, and the new Canada Running Series Charity Challenge at the Toronto Yonge Street 10K [April 22nd) will be available later this month. Inquiries: Anh Vuong,

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