A very personal connection has led the Economic Club of Canada (ECC) to choose Canadian Blood Services as its charity of choice for 2013.

On Jan. 11, 2013, Rhiannon Traill, the ECC’s president and CEO, announced that for every ticket sold at their events across Canada this year, $1 will be donated to the campaign For All Canadians which will help us establish a national public umbilical cord blood bank. The show of support was made at the club’s annual economic outlook breakfast in Toronto which attracts nearly 1,000 senior business people.

The campaign is aiming to raise $12.5 million by next year — $6 million of which must be raised by June of this year to ensure the first collection site opens on time.

Rhiannon offered to get involved after hearing Dr. Graham Sher, CEO of Canadian Blood Services, speak at the ECC in Toronto last fall and realizing how important our organization is to so many people beyond blood donation and use.

“When I first heard about this campaign it immediately struck a chord with me and I knew I wanted to be involved. My husband was diagnosed with leukemia in 2010 so I know first-hand how important a national umbilical cord blood bank is for Canadians. It can literally mean the difference between life and death,” says Rhiannon.

“I am so pleased that Rhiannon and the Economic Club of Canada have endorsed our campaign,” says David Lehberg, campaign co-chair. “Their donation [from the proceeds of three events in 2013] will help our campaign receive the profile and funds it needs to succeed and give Canadians a national public cord blood bank they can bank on.”


Click to hear Dr. Graham Sher’s speech at the Economic Club of Canada