The Piccoli Family Fund
In recognition of the Piccoli family’s outstanding contribution to Pediatric Oncology, the Cedars Cancer Institute launched the Piccoli Family Fund in 2011. The Fund’s primary mission will be to continue the support of Pediatric Oncology through Sarah’s Fund of the Cedars Cancer Institute. As the Piccoli Family’s CIBC 401 Bike Challenge continues to grow as a major fund raising event in the communities which it serves and draws support, it is the vision of the Fund to be able to support additional oncology initiatives through the Cedars Cancer Institute. This support has already commenced with funds now being allocated to both the Montreal Children’s Hospital and Toronto Sick Kids Pediatric Oncology Programs.
2017 marks the 16th Anniversary of Sarah's Fund. Back in 2001 the fund joined forces with the Montreal Children's Hospital's Hematology/Oncology team to make a real difference in the lives of kids fighting cancer. Little did they know what a difference they would make.
Sarah's Funds has raised over $9 million. Thanks to the dedication of individual Montrealers, young and old, a dedicated floor for pediatric/oncology was built at the Children's; providing every patient with a warm and comforting Buddy Blanket. The Fund supports animal and music therapy programs; continuing education for nurses; and the purchase of much needed equipment.
One of the cornerstone events of the year is the CIBC 401 Bike Challenge. The Piccoli Family is the driving force behind this three-day bike journey from Toronto to Montreal. Their support and dedication to children's cancer research and care is inspiring.
We are grateful to all our donors and we thank you for supporting Sarah's Fund. With your ongoing generosity we can continue to help children with cancer.
After celebrating 12 years of the CIBC 401 Bike Challenge, it is an opportunity to look back at our success.
The CIBC 401 Bike Challenge was started by the Piccoli family in 2005.
That year Gene Piccoli, Investment Advisor and Vice President at CIBC Wood Gundy, decided he wanted to give back to the community. Inspired by his wife’s successful battle with cancer and his passion for cycling, the 401 Bike Challenge went from dream to reality. Creating a cycling event linking Canada’s two major cities was always something he wanted to do. Drawing from his inspiration, he decided to launch his own initiative to fight cancer. After discussions with his wife Angie, and their two children James and Lauren, the family decided to align its 401 Bike Challenge’s efforts to Sarah’s Fund of the Cedars Cancer Institute.
Despite a series of challenges, obstacles, and last minute setbacks, the family was relentless in its conviction to launch this ride. In the dark, early hours of a cold September morning, an eleventh-hour, hastily assembled group of 8 riders met in a parking lot. From that seemingly uneventful moment, the 401 Bike Challenge was born, with his young son James by his side accompanying a small group of riders who met for the first time. His daughter Lauren and wife Angie prepared and provided all the necessary support for the riders along the way. Despite the last minute launch, the inaugural 2005 ride went smoothly and was a great success.
Amazingly, the 401 Bike Challenge raised $17,000 in that first year. In each year that has followed, the event has grown in terms of dollars raised, riders, awareness, enjoyment, and CIBC’s commitment to pediatric oncology. Over the years, many in senior management within CIBC have demonstrated their community leadership, joining the Piccoli family as they make their annual epic and emotional 580km journey from Toronto to Montreal in support of “Sarah’s Floor” at the Montreal Children’s Hospital.
Inspired by the increased generosity of CIBC, corporate sponsors and the many donors along the 401 corridor, the CIBC 401 Bike Challenge and Sarah’s Fund proudly decided in 2009 to allocate a portion of the donations to the Toronto Sick Kids pediatric hematology/oncology department.
For the past eleven years, the CIBC 401 Bike Challenge has been a remarkable grass roots success raising over $2,000,000 to date. Together, with the support of the brave and dedicated riders, friends, donors, and corporate partners, we are making a difference in the lives of children with cancer and the people who care for them.
In 2011, the Cedars Cancer Institute launched the Piccoli Family Fund, to recognize that family’s contribution to the community.