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2007 News Releases

For Immediate Release

May 31, 2007

15th annual Manulife Bike and Hike for Heart, donation total nears $2 million for local heart health

15th annual Manulife Bike and Hike for Heart,
donation total nears $2 million for local heart health

Waterloo - More than 1,200 cyclists and walkers are ready to hit the road for Kitchener-Waterloo’s heart health this weekend. They hope to bring the overall amount raised through the Manulife Bike and Hike for local heart health to $2 million. This year’s fundraising target is $200,000.

Sponsored by Manulife Financial since 1993, this year’s Bike and Hike takes place Sunday, June 3.

“This year marks two significant milestones for the Manulife event,” said Paul Rooney, President and CEO Manulife Canada. “It marks our 15th anniversary supporting coronary healthcare in Waterloo region, and we hope to reach the $2 million mark for the total amount we’ve raised for this important cause.”

Moira Taylor, president of St. Mary's General Hospital, added: “The community’s ongoing support of the Manulife Bike and Hike is vital to our continued success in providing the best cardiac care to our patients. Thanks to the efforts of the event’s participants and sponsors, we were able to care for more than 80,000 heart patients at our Regional Cardiac Care Centre last year and look forward to continuing to deliver the excellent care our patients deserve.”

Starting at RIM Park, this year’s Bike and Hike includes 15- and 25-kilometre courses for all ranges of cycling skills. Walkers can follow a three-, five-, or eight-kilometre trail in RIM Park. Cyclists will start at 9 a.m., while walkers start to stroll at approximately 9:20 a.m. Post-event celebrations, including lunch, will continue until closing ceremonies are held around noon.

The Manulife Bike and Hike for Heart (originally known as The Manulife Ride for Heart) has grown and benefited from community-wide support from a diverse group of individuals and companies. For 15 years walkers, cyclists, supporters and volunteers have given their time, energy and donations to help ensure quality heart care is available in Kitchener-Waterloo.

All donations to support participants in the Bike and Hike will go to St. Mary’s Regional Cardiac Care Centre. The event’s operating costs are covered by Manulife, other sponsors and registration fees.

“It truly is a community event that brings together everyone from the very young to the young at heart,” added Mr. Rooney. “Everyone at Manulife is proud to be involved in our local health care and we’re encouraging everyone to come out Sunday to support the tremendous work being done at our local cardiac care centre.”

Organizers have their fingers crossed that everyone will hear the call and come out to cycle or walk. There's still time to register.Call 519-88-HEART for details. You can also visit the Bike and Hike Web site at: www.manulife.ca/bikeandhike  or email us at bike&hikeforheart@manulife.com

St. Mary’s General Hospital
St. Mary’s General Hospital has served the local community for more than eight decades. The hospital is known for carrying out the tradition of its founders, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Hamilton, offering excellent care, compassionate service and a healing environment.

St. Mary’s is a member of St. Joseph’s Health Care System, and affiliated with the Father Sean O’Sullivan Research Centre and McMaster University, Hamilton. Through these and other partnerships, the hospital ensures that care is cost-effective, as well as carried out with skill, compassion, and kindness.

Manulife Financial
Manulife Financial is a leading Canadian-based financial services group serving millions of customers in 19 countries and territories worldwide. Operating as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia, and primarily through John Hancock in the United States, the Company offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services through its extensive network of employees, agents and distribution partners. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were Cdn$426 billion (US$370 billion) as at March 31, 2007.

Manulife Financial Corporation trades as ‘MFC’ on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under ‘0945’ on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at www.manulife.com.

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Media contacts:
Tom Nunn Peter Sweeney
Manulife Financial President
519-594-8578 St. Mary’s General Hospital Foundation
(Cell # on June 3 only, 519-580-9517) Tel: (519) 749-6578