BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – If preparations alone are any indicator, this year’s CIBC FirstCaribbean’s Walk for the Cure, the region’s largest cancer fundraiser, seems set to break new fundraising records.
The organizing committees for the various walks are busy meeting and planning, with fundraising activities heating up all across the English and Dutch Caribbean as the 17 territories where CIBC FirstCaribbean is located prepare to engage regional and local sponsors as well as other charitable partners for Walk for the Cure 2018.
The phenomenal fundraising and cancer care and awareness raising event has generated over USD$1.75 million in sponsorship and donations over the past six years and is seeking to add in a major way to that total at the end of the walks and various activities this year.
“We are really excited about Walk for the Cure this year, there is a definite buzz across our business as we gear up for this very exciting time,” said Walk Co-Chair and Managing Director Retail and Business Banking, Mark St. Hill.
He noted that the bank was “particularly happy that Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, St. Maarten and Turks and Caicos Islands which had to cancel their walks last year due to the devastation caused by hurricanes Irma and Maria, despite not being fully back on their feet, are all deeply engaged and ready to participate fully in this year’s events.”
Managing Director, Cards, & Customer Relationship Management and fellow Co-Chair, Trevor Torzsas, was also eagerly looking forward to the participation of all territories in the walk again this year. “We are thrilled that our staff and clients in the affected islands have recovered to the extent that they are again able to be a part of this life-saving initiative,” Mr. Torzsas said.
He added that teams will be “pulling out all the stops this year to ensure that our fundraising will reach record levels. I know our sponsors are very excited to work with us again this year and we look forward to welcoming a lot more new regional and local support for our annual crusade against cancer”.
“I am extremely proud of all the volunteers at CIBC FirstCaribbean who have grown this initiative from just 2,000 walkers in 2012 to 30 000 in 2017. We are expecting record numbers to come out and participate during the various walks this year,” Mr. Torzsas said.
This year, the fundraising walks will be spread over two months spanning weekends in September and October in various territories instead of most walks taking place on the first weekend in October as usual. The change is a direct result of the unpredictability of the weather around the region at this time of year.
Despite the setbacks caused by the adverse weather last year, the hard work of hundreds of bank staff volunteers in partnership with various cancer care organisations and over 160 corporate sponsors, raised just over USD$450 000. Thousands took to the streets primarily on the first weekend in October, dressed in white or pink T-shirts to walk and run to raise awareness of the various cancers and their impact on families.
Persons wishing to make a contribution to Walk for the Cure can do so by visiting CIBC FirstCaribbean St. Maarten at their Philipsburg or Cole Bay branch via the walk’s donation drop boxes and or CIBC FCIB Account # C/A 10055400. Details of The Walk for the Cure St. Maarten will be announced soon.
All of the funds raised go to providing assistance, care and counselling to cancer patients and their families as well as to raise awareness through education campaigns across the region. The funds also help the various organisations to assist with the purchase and maintenance of equipment used in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer patients.