SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente, Xenia von Wedel, Peter Silva

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Boys and Girls Clubs Youth Celebrate Belonging as an Antidote to Bullying

Belonging: National Day to End Bullying on May 7, 2014

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - May 07, 2014) - Youth from Boys and Girls Clubs are speaking out against bullying and social exclusion in celebration of Belonging: National Day to End Bullying on May 7, 2014.

Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada (BGCC) and CIBC launched the first national day of Belonging last year, in an effort to expand the conversation about bullying. This year, Belonging Day features a social media campaign with celebrities Rick Mercer, Leslie Roberts and Bob Rae as well as federal and provincial politicians using #Belonging on Facebook and Twitter to show their support. 

"A feeling of belonging and connection makes a positive difference in the lives of children and youth," says BGCC President and CEO Pam Jolliffe. "Feeling valued and supported by peers and key adults can help 'bully-proof' young people and give them the confidence to contribute to the well-being of others."

A new public service announcement, produced by BGCC in partnership with CIBC, features teens who share their thoughts on the importance of belonging and being able to be themselves without fear of being judged. See the video on YouTube at http://youtu.be/3OUDLqpaBcM.

"Kids should feel safe and free to express themselves," says Sharon Mathers, Senior Vice-President, CIBC. "CIBC is proud to support National Day to End Bullying and to partner with BGCC to promote a positive dialogue about bullying and offer under-served children and youth more opportunities to develop their education, self-esteem, healthy living and leadership skills."

Clubs across Canada provide safe and supportive places where young people are listened to and encouraged to speak out, in a spirit of inclusion and empowerment, regardless of their race, religion, sexual orientation or athletic ability. Boys and Girls Clubs offer programs that help foster positive behaviours and build confidence and many local Clubs are organizing Belonging Day events today. The young people featured in the PSA are available for media interviews about overcoming social exclusion and bullying and Belonging t-shirts can be purchased for $10 from belonging.ca.

About CIBC

CIBC is a leading North American financial institution with 11 million personal banking and business clients. 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 Kids, Cures and Community, 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 2013, CIBC contributed more than $41 million to 1,870 charitable and non-profit initiatives in over 430 communities. You can find other news releases and information about CIBC in our Press Centre on our corporate website at www.cibc.com.

About Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada

Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada is dedicated to supporting and encouraging children and youth as they grow and develop. We are a national charity serving 200,000 young people in 650 locations across Canada. We listen to their opinions and ideas, applaud their accomplishments, lend support during their struggles and provide ways for them to explore their interests and talents. With this encouragement, young people develop the confidence and sense of belonging that helps them succeed in school, form positive relationships and mature into responsible, caring adults. For over 110, years we have welcomed children, youth and their families into clubs that reflect the diversity of Canada in small and large cities, rural communities and First Nations reserves. Visit www.bgccan.com and follow us at www.facebook.com/bgccan and www.twitter.com/bgccan.

The following files are available for download:

Susan Sullivan 
Media Relations Manager
Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada
905.477.7272 ext. 239

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