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BMO Financial Group

September 23, 2010 09:01 ET

BMO Life Assurance Company and Wellspring Launch Facebook Application to Raise Awareness and Funds for Women's Cancers

- More Than 30,000 Canadian Women Will be Diagnosed With Woman-Specific Cancers This Year

- Well Woman Support Tree Facebook Application to Create Awareness and Generate Funds to Support Those Battling the Disease

- For Each Support Tree Planted on Facebook, BMO Life Assurance Company Will Make a Donation to Wellspring Cancer Support Centres

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 23, 2010) - BMO Life Assurance Company today launched the Well Woman Support Tree a Facebook application that allows Canadians to generate awareness and raise money for the battle against woman-specific cancers.

The Well Woman Support Tree application allows Canadian Facebook users to send an invite to friends to build a Well Woman Support Tree. For each Support Tree planted onto Facebook pages, BMO Life Assurance Company will donate $1 CDN to Wellspring.

Funds raised will support Wellspring Cancer Support Centres, a network of community-based cancer support centres that provides high-quality cancer support, education and coping skills to a growing number of individuals, family members and professional caregivers in Canada. 

According to the Canadian Cancer Society, more than 30 thousand women will be diagnosed with breast and other female-specific cancers in 2010. While survival rates have increased steadily, the treatment and recovery period can put a strain on personal finances and impact lifestyle and daily routine.

"Networks like Facebook have opened up a new channel in which socially conscious Canadians can begin spreading the word and garnering support for many causes," said Sandy Bourne, Vice-President of Corporate Sponsorships, BMO Financial Group. "Inspired by our Well Woman critical illness insurance solution, the Support Tree application is designed to help raise awareness of woman-specific cancers and support Wellspring in their efforts to assist those battling the disease."

"A cancer diagnosis is always incredibly difficult, leaving individuals struggling to cope with its negative impact on all facets of their life: their health, their family, their finances, their workplace, everything," said Lynda Morrison, CEO, Wellspring. "Cancer patients need support that goes beyond medical care in order to address the psychological, emotional, financial and practical consequences of illness and its treatments. Through this initiative BMO is once again demonstrating their commitment to Wellspring and their support for individuals living with cancer." 

How the Support Tree application works:

  • Go to http:/apps.facebook.com/bmowellwoman
  • A page will appear outlining details of the Support Tree, the number of support trees planted to date, and information on Wellspring and BMO Insurance's Well Woman critical illness plan.
  • Users can then begin growing their tree by inviting up to 20 friends per day to join and encouraging friends to plant a Support Tree of their own. 
  • As friends begin to join, the user's tree will begin to grow and populate with pictures of supporters, and continue to grow and spread as friends in their network download and use the application. 
  • For each Support Tree planted, BMO Life Assurance Company will donate $1 CDN to Wellspring.

The concept was inspired by BMO Life Assurance Company's Well Woman insurance solution, which provides cash benefits directly to the policy holder to use for any purpose she chooses, such as in-home care, housekeeping, prescription drugs, babysitters and to cover a monthly income gap. In addition, those who do not need to make a claim can surrender their policy anytime after 20 years or when they reach age 70 (whichever comes first) and receive a refund of all premiums paid.

Additional information about the Well Woman critical illness insurance plan for women can be found at www.bmo.com/supporttree.

About BMO Life Assurance Company

As part of BMO Financial Group, one of Canada's premier financial institutions, BMO Life Assurance Company has a strong reputation for delivering quality life and health insurance solutions to Canadians. Under the BMO Insurance brand, a wide range of life, critical illness, accident insurance and income annuity solutions are available direct to consumer and through financial and insurance advisors. Visit www.bmo.com/insurance for more details.

About Wellspring

Founded in 1992, Wellspring is an innovative network of centres that provide high-quality cancer support, education and coping skills to a growing number of individuals, family members and professional caregivers in Canada. At the core of the Wellspring network is the Centre of Innovation, which fosters new program development, research and evaluation, quality control, expansion and outreach to underserved communities. Visit www.wellspring.ca for more details.

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