News & Releases >> 2008 >> December 1 2008

Mon Sheong Foundation's "Little Asia" 3-peat as STWM08 Neighbourhood Champions: Giant Steps, Epilepsy Toronto, and Mount Sinai Hospital carry off Charity Challenge titles at Awards Night Gala

Charity Challenge

TORONTO. December 1st. More than 150 runners, fundraisers, sponsors and VIPs turned out for the Gala Awards Night for this year's Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, held in the Dining Hall of Scotiabank's world headquarters at 44 King Street. In all, 14 awards were given out to the top performers in this year's Charity Challenge and Neighbourhood Challenge, that saw a record participation of 74 local charities or neighbourhood groups. Combined, they raised a remarkable, record total of $1,419,808.46 — up 54% from 2007.

Awards were given out by MPP Mike Colle representing the Province, and Councillor Karen Stintz representing the City. Colle, the Liberal Chief Whip, also ran the full 42.195k on September 28th, to raise funds for Foundation Fighting Blindness; while Councillor Stintz successfully completed the Half marathon in a PR of 2:15:41, raising funds for Literature for Life.

Little Asia cheering centre

"Little Asia" carried off the title of "Neigbourhood Champions" for the third year in a row, taking away a cheque for $6,000 for The Mon Sheong Foundation for Seniors. Organized by NAAAP, the North American Association of Asian Professionals, for Mon Sheong, Little Asia was again located on Don Roadway at the 22k/37.5km marks of the course. It featured more than a dozen bands and entertainment groups that included Lion Dancers, Fan Dancers and rock bands, more than 500 cheering fans onsite, plus their own "mini-Olympics" on the side! Mon Sheong had a great evening, also taking 2nd place {$3,000} in the "Largest Amount of Pledges" category of the Charity Challenge, while one of their best fundraisers, Ivan Hon, won a draw for one of two luxury trips for 2 to the Cayman Islands Marathon & Half on the December 4th-7th weekend. All runners who raised more than $1,000 were entered into this year's draw.

Harbourfront cheering centre

While "Little Asia" 3-peated with bragging rights as the most-vibrant of the 11 Neighbourhoods the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon passes through, they faced tough competition this year! Second place and $3,000 went to "The Beach", organized by The Beaches Lion's Club, who this year were raising funds for neighbourhood resident, 10-year old Justin Murphy, who needs $20,000 for cochlear, ear implants to restore his hearing. Third place {$2,000} was judged to go to "Downtown", represented by the Toronto Aerial Dance Company, raising funds for their own youth programmes. Honourable mentions also went to "Bloor West/High Park", represented by the Swansea Neighbourhood Association that included the Legion, and "Harbourfront", represented by Brandon Street Community Foundation in support of The Self Esteem Academy for First Nation's Peoples. On race-day, September 28th, the 11 Neighbourhood and Cheering Centres were judged on the quality of their entertainment on the morning, the number of spectators on-site, noise made and costumes,colour, and "general enthusiasm".

Giant Steps

In the Charity Challenge, Giant Steps Toronto/York Region, which assists children with autism and their families, carried off 1st prize [$6,000] for the charity raising the largest amount of pledges. A popular winner, Giant Steps is typical of the many small, local charities that have come to make the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half and 5K their major fundraising effort of the year. With a core of just 25 families at the heart of their charity, they raised a fabulous $108,005 in this year's Challenge. Mon Sheong took 2nd [$68,269] and a first-time group, The Bereaved Families of Ontario—Toronto Chapter, took 3rd with $57,104 raised.

Epilepsy Toronto, Giant Steps

Epilepsy Toronto were proclaimed 2008 Champions in the "Most Participants" category, with 188 runners and walkers. Fundraising this year with the slogans "Out of the Shadows" and "Time to be Proud!", Epilepsy seemed to capture the spirit of this year's event. With a record 15,000 participants [up 23% from '07], a new, high-profile Start/Finish at Nathan's Phillips Square hosted in-person by Mayor David Miller, and the huge increase in fundraising at the marathon, Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront definitely appears to have stepped "Out of the Shadows" this year. Consensus was strong that all of the participants and their charities indeed had a lot to be proud of! Hope for Children had the 2nd largest total of participants [171], and A Run For Liane at Sick Children's Hospital the third [143]. A Run for Liane was also recognized as one of the founding members of the Charity Challenge, taking part every year since its inception in 2003.

A Run For Liane Hope for Children

In a close race, Mount Sinai Hospital was awarded the $6,000 for 1st place in the category "Largest Amount of Pledge dollars raised per participant," with an average of $2,984.86. Newcomers Yee Hong Foundation, led by Honourary Captain MP Olivia Chow who took time to do the Waterfront 5K despite being in the midst of the Federal elections, took 2nd with an average of $2,819.50; The Abilities Centre was 3rd with an average of $2,151.86 raised per team member.

A celebratory evening was capped off when Mike Colle presented Race Director Alan Brookes and all of the organizing team with a framed proclamation from the Province of Ontario, "in Recognition of this Outstanding Charity Event," and extending "Best wishes for your continued success in illustrating to the world that our magnificent, multicultural City of Toronto has a kind heart and swift feet."

Proceedings ended with the Official Launch of the Charity Challenge and Neighbourhood Challenges for 2009. For any groups unable to attend but interested in participating in the September 25th-27th, 2009 weekend, application packets can be obtained from Anh Vuong of the Canada Running Series team at


Charity Awards Night