OVER 500 more walkers, many of them groups of families and persons whose lives were impacted by cancer, took to the streets for the 8th edition of CIBC FirstCaribbean’s Walk for The Cure (WFTC) last weekend.
Dressed in their pink shirts, over 1500 men, women and children turned out for the event up from the 1000 who did the walk last year.
Continuous innovation and enhancements to the walk experience were notable this year with the serving of Lavazza Italian coffee, Harney Teas, Iced Tea, Malt, juice and yogurts enriching the post walk programme at Pigeon Island. An element of competition continued to inflect the experience with medals and prizes awarded to the first 20 people to cross the finish line.
Facebook and Instagram were also awash with pink and purple as participants proudly broadcast their progress along the route and their exploits during the SocaFit aerobic exercise routine on the beach. This year, instead of balloons, lanterns were set aloft in memory of those who have lost the battle with cancer.
During the remarks and entertainment segment following the walk, representatives of the two beneficiary agencies shared stories on the myriad ways their agencies are able to provide support to cancer patients who cannot afford the costly tests and treatments that come with the disease. Well-known Saint Lucian Spoken Word artist Ethan Fletcher delivered a moving tribute to his mother, H.E Ambassador Dr Jocelyne Fletcher, who is a fifteen-year survivor of breast cancer.
CIBC FirstCaribbean launched Walk for The Cure 2019 in August with a rallying call designed to resonate at a deeply personal level, using branded videos featuring the stories of cancer survivors and people who have had an up close and personal experience with the disease.
“‘Everyone knows someone’ was our unifying call this year, and based on the feedback to date, the slogan and the personal testimonies motivated a response from hundreds of new walkers”, said the bank’s Country Manager, Ladesa James-Williams. “Numbers are important to achieving the annual fundraising target. But we believe the real success of Walk for The Cure will be seen when people impacted and affected run with the mobilization out of their personal conviction about the value of this initive, because they know what cancer can do to individuals and families firsthand.” she added.
While the takings from registration is still shy of the targeted $100,000, Walk Manager KestanJn Baptiste said the bank is confident about meeting the target by November, when the cheque presentation to Faces of Cancer and The Saint Lucia Cancer Society will take place. Fundraising continues at the various branches of the bank until November when the proceeds from the walk will be donated in equal amounts to the two charities. Contributions can still be made directly into CIBC FirstCaribbean account # 106995550 or by using the branded donation tins at all bank branches.
Local partners on board this year included Massy Stores, BDO, Digicel, ExelSigns, Flow, Fitness Trails, Wavemaker Photography, DD Auto Imports, Johnsons Hardware, KFC, Saint Lucia International Financial Centre, Dominos, Blue Waters, Piton Malta, Sea Island Cotton Shop, National Conservation Authority, Automotive Arts, LUCELEC, Brice & Co, SocaFit, Harbor Club, Travel & Leisure Centre, Touch Therapies, Beat Envy, VivreLaBelle, Courts, LUMNAT, KPMG, Atwell Dalgliesh, Red Foundation and ADMAC LTD. Media sponsors were The Independent Film Company, Vibe Radio, RCI, The Wave, Choice TV and DBS TV. Regional sponsors were Harris Paints, VISA, ADTALEM Global Education and TSL Barbados.