I am writing to you on behalf of the Board of Directors to thank you for your generosity in supporting our foundation, and to advise you that we have made the very difficult decision to dissolve the Cardiac Health Foundation of Canada.
Since 1976, we have raised more than $15M to support cardiac rehabilitation, in Toronto and across Canada. COVID-19 has changed the world and we are no longer able to continue on our own. We have therefore taken the proactive step of transferring the rights and trademark of the Walk of Life to the Toronto Rehabilitation Foundation for Cardiac Health, Prevention and Rehabilitation programs at UHN. The Toronto Rehab and their affiliates, the Toronto General and Toronto Western Hospital Foundation, will take on the Walk of Life and our hope is that they make it an even bigger success in the future.
We are proud of our many successes over the past 44 years. From the beginning, our staff, volunteers and Directors have all been influential in our accomplishments. With Dr. Terry Kavanagh as our leader, we were able to raise $6M to build the indoor track and cardiac building at the Toronto Rehab Institute and continue to raise research funds for more than 30 years at the centre; then expanding our reach to support 25 cardiac rehab programs across Canada for the past 18 years; giving out over 75 scholarships to cardiac rehab professionals and through endowments at the University of Guelph-Humber and the University of Toronto; receiving 3 Ontario Trillium Grants to promote heart health prevention, and research for Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario for children with cardiomyopathy; creating fundraising partnerships with the Mikey Network and the Canadian Congenital Heart Alliance; establishing the 1st Paediatric Exercise Medicine Room and Cardiac Rehab Program for kids and adolescents in Canada at the Hospital for Sick Children; and founding the Dr. Terry Kavanagh Heart Health Lab at the University of Toronto. It goes without saying that we know our efforts were only possible with the contributions that we received from our generous donors and participants. According to the latest Public Health Agency of Canada’s report, 2.4 million Canadian adults live with heart disease. The need for cardiac rehabilitation programs will remain strong for many years to come. We sincerely hope that you will continue to support the Walk of Life through the Toronto Rehabilitation Foundation and its associates and continue Dr. Terry Kavanagh’s legacy. If you wish to receive communications about future Walks, please complete and return the enclosed card. Once received, this will allow the Toronto Rehabilitation Foundation to add your name to their contact list.
Our intention is to wind down our operations by mid-October. If you made a donation this year and for some reason did not receive a tax receipt or it has been misplaced, we are asking individuals to let us know by October 15th if you require a duplicate copy. Christina Mellos, our Managing Director, will be managing the office during this time.
In closing, I cannot thank you enough for your loyalty and ongoing financial support of the Cardiac Health Foundation of Canada. Together, we have made a difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands of Canadians who are impacted by heart disease.
PS. Please return this self-addressed postcard giving Toronto Rehab Foundation approval to connect with you. Alternatively, you can submit it online at www.TorontoRehabFoundation.com/WalkOfLife or call (416) 597-3422 and leave a message, or send an email to TRF@uhn.ca with the relevant information.