The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

Fund-rais­ing for one of the re­gion’s largest can­cer care and aware­ness events has kicked off across the Dutch and English-speak­ing Caribbean with over US$267,119 be­ing raised so far from over 160 cor­po­rate sup­port­ers.

The sixth edi­tion of CIBC FirstCaribbean’s Walk for the Cure is ex­pected to again at­tract over 20,000 walk­ers and run­ners across the 17 ter­ri­to­ries where the bank op­er­ates. The walks this year will take place on the last week­end of Septem­ber.

“We are re­ally ex­cited about this year’s walk,” said Trevor Torzsas, Ex­ec­u­tive CoChair of the walk and Man­ag­ing Direc­tor, Cus­tomer Re­la­tion­ship and Man­age­ment. “There is a surge of en­ergy through­out our or­gan­i­sa­tion as hun­dreds of our staff are al­ready busy with a num­ber of fund-rais­ing events as well as plan­ning for the var­i­ous walks.”

“Last year we raised US$500,000, all of which we do­nated to sup­port the lifechang­ing work of our part­ner can­cer care or­gan­i­sa­tions in each of the coun­tries where we op­er­ate. This year we are go­ing to do all that we can to en­sure that we sur­pass last year’s fig­ures,” said Mark St. Hill, the other Ex­ec­u­tive Co-Chair and Man­ag­ing Direc­tor, Re­tail and Busi­ness Bank­ing.

“As a cor­po­rate fam­ily we know the pain and loss that can­cer in­flicts. Rais­ing aware­ness, cham­pi­oning early de­tec­tion and mak­ing life just a lit­tle more com­fort­able for those with can­cer, their fam­i­lies and care­givers is what our walk is about,” St. Hill added.

The funds raised are used to pro­vide as­sis­tance, care and coun­selling to pa­tients and their fam­i­lies as well as to raise aware­ness through ed­u­ca­tion cam­paigns across the re­gion. They also help the var­i­ous or­gan­i­sa­tions to as­sist with the pur­chase and maintenance of equip­ment used in the di­ag­no­sis and treat­ment of pa­tients.

Over the past five years the bank has raised over US$1.3 mil­lion from the event, pri­mar­ily sup­ported by gen­er­ous cor­po­rate donors and di­verse fund-rais­ing ac­tiv­i­ties and events hosted by staff mem­bers.

The co-chairs said the bank will be launch­ing its re­vamped walk regis­tra­tion and do­na­tion web­site very shortly which is ex­pected to of­fer in­creased op­por­tu­ni­ties for fur­ther fund-rais­ing.

They praised the fundrais­ing ef­forts of the bank’s staff and the en­thu­si­as­tic sup­port of the busi­ness com­mu­nity who have been com­ing on board as plat­inum, gold, sil­ver and bronze spon­sors.

The bank’s Saint Lu­cia branches are gear­ing up plans and part­ners to stage an­other suc­cess­ful Walk for the Cure.

The walk is also 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 21 years, do­nat­ing mil­lions of dol­lars to breast can­cer re­search in Canada.

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