THE Child Development and Guidance Centre in La Clery was Friday morning the proud recipient of a cheque for $6,500 courtesy of Dash Colour Run, as well as an assortment of beverages from the Windward and Leeward Brewery Limited (WLBL).
The short presentation was the third annual donation from Dash and the second annual donation from WLBL.
Dione Benn of Partner For Life Productions Incorporation, spoke as the representative for Dash.
She said: “It’s the third year in a row where we have put together this fun run for all of St. Lucia to celebrate Independence and a part of our activity is giving back to society. For the past three years, we’ve partnered with the CDGC in La Clery. They take care of children with special needs and every year we have given back in terms of cash and kind through the registrations that we receive through the Colour Run, as well as through the participation of our partners and sponsors.”
Benn said oftentimes the youth with developmental disabilities are forgotten and are challenged in different ways where they end up being deeded outcasts by society.
She continued: “We want them to feel that they are part of St. Lucia’s society and they can positively contribute to the development of the nation. The Independence theme goes well with the youth because they are the future of the nation.”
WLBL’s Junior Brand Manager for Soft Drinks, Junia Haynes, presented the CDGC with Supermalt, Crystal Clear Water and Minute Maid Orange Juice.
Haynes said: “We decided to come on board because as a beverage company, we do whatever we can to assist centres like this one to help the youth because the youth are the future. So if you want to be true to your corporate social responsibility, that is the way to go, and that is why when Dione presented it, we were on board with her from day one.”
Dr. Kim Gardner, who is the CDGC’s Paediatrician and Director, said she was very happy to be the recipient of the donations.
Dr. Gardner said charities are just what the centre needs and such assistance will go a long way.
“For a non-profit organisation, secure funding annually is usually a struggle, and to know that every year we can partner with Dash and guarantee that income annually allows us to plan and put in place programmes because the funding is secure. So we’re not just happy to receive this, but it has allowed for growth and sustainability of our organisation.”
The donations usually provide for at least a month of therapy, as well as assistance with transportation and aides for children with disabilities to get into school.
Dr. Gardner said: “Every dollar counts and plugs many holes, so the money has been put to very good use and will again this year just go towards children with developmental delays and disabilities.”
Dash Run is an international concept where there is a 5-kilometre run for all people from walks of life. However, the local organisers added a Caribbean flare whereby there is a music truck to motivate and entertain participants, as well as coloured powder that is enjoyed by young and old. The event ends with a colourful street party with live entertainment from the island’s hottest artistes.
In the next three years, they are looking to Dash for the Olympics 2020 to sponsor the local sporting talent, whom they believe possess the potential to bring home Olympic medals.