The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

CIBC First­Caribbean's an­nual Walk for the Cure has raised US$400,000 in 2015. The funds raised will go to­wards the care and sup­port of per­sons fight­ing the dis­ease of can­cer across the Caribbean.

The walk, held dur­ing the month of Oc­to­ber, united over 20,000 pas­sion­ate par­tic­i­pants in 17 coun­tries in which the bank op­er­ates, in a demonstration of their com­mit­ment to as­sist those af­fected by can­cer.

The Walk for the Cure started in 2012 as part of the bank's 10th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions. That year, the Walk raised just over US$30,000. In 2013 the funds raised in­creased to $100,000 and, in 2014, the Walk for the Cure raised ap­prox­i­mately US$200,000 to sup­port crit­i­cal can­cer care, pur­chase vi­tal equip­ment nec­es­sary to treat pa­tients and host gen­eral ed­u­ca­tion pro­grammes to cre­ate greater aware­ness of the dis­ease across the re­gion.

Hail­ing this year as a phe­nom­e­nal suc­cess, CoChairs for this year's walk, CIBC First­Caribbean Ex­ec­u­tives, Trevor Torzsas and Mark St. Hill, praised the fund-rais­ing ef­forts of the bank's staff and the en­thu­si­as­tic sup­port of the busi­ness com­mu­nity who came on board as spon­sors.

This year, the 2015 Walk for the Cure part­nered with St. Lucia Can­cer So­ci­ety and Faces of Can­cer and dou­bled last year's con­tri­bu­tions to $50,000 in St. Lucia. Lo­cal spon­sors for the event in­cluded, as re­gional spon­sors: Ernst & Young, Fu­jitsu, Guards­man, Massy United In­sur­ance, Tata Con­sul­tancy Ser­vices and San­dals; as gold spon­sors: Dig­i­cel and Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Re­sort; as sil­ver spon­sors: LIME and M&R Ltd.; and as bronze spon­sors: Anse Chas­tanet, Bay Gar­dens Beach Re­sort, Blue Wa­ters, BRAWO, Courts, Mr. Irvin Em­manuel, Felly Belly, Flois­sac Lawyers, Greene & As­so­ciates, Massy Dis­trib­u­tors, Rit­u­als, Sea Is­land Cot­ton Shop and Touch Ther­a­pies Day Spa..

Coun­try Man­ager, Ladesa James-Wil­liams, thanked both staff and spon­sors for their on­go­ing com­mit­ment to grow­ing the event each year.

She added: “This has been a record year of sup­port from our CIBC First­Caribbean fam­ily. This sup­port and the growth of Walk for the Cure, now in its fourth year, shows just how im­por­tant the is­sue of can­cer is. The St. Lucia Can­cer So­ci­ety and Faces of Can­cer do out­stand­ing work in our com­mu­ni­ties: sup­port­ing af­fected fam­i­lies, rais­ing the level of pub­lic aware­ness, pro­mot­ing early de­tec­tion and healthy life­styles. Our sup­port this year broad­ens the reach of th­ese or­gan­i­sa­tions and it means as­sis­tance with med­i­cal care to those who need it most.”

One of this year's par­tic­i­pants ex­pressed great hope for the fu­ture, not­ing that, “Many peo­ple have been af­fected by can­cer one way or an­other, whether it's fam­ily mem­bers, neigh­bours, co­work­ers or friends. Events like Walk for the Cure show that you're not in the fight alone and that we're all work­ing to­wards bet­ter ed­u­ca­tion, health­ier lives and that mo­ment in the fu­ture where can­cer no longer has a neg­a­tive im­pact on the lives of those around you. I have hope for the day when can­cer is a dis­tant mem­ory!”

Each year, the Walk for the Cure is held to co­in­cide with the Cana­dian Breast Can­cer Foun­da­tion's CIBC Run for the Cure spon­sored by the bank's par­ent com­pany, CIBC. CIBC has been sup­port­ing this event for more than 20 years, do­nat­ing mil­lions to breast can­cer re­search in Canada.

L-R: Cather­ine Gus­tave Trea­surer of Faces of Can­cer, Ladesa James-Wil­liams CIBCFCIB Coun­try Man­ager, Lisa Louis of St. Lucia Can­cer So­ci­ety and

Juli­ette Si­mon of Faces of Can­cer.

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