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(PRESS RELEASE) – CIBC FirstCaribbean’s Walk for the Cure, the region’s largest cancer fundraiser, has again topped the US half-million mark in fundraising for cancer causes across the English and Dutch Caribbean.
Last year the combined efforts of the various organizing committees, sponsors and participants in the 17 territories where the bank has a presence raised a total of USD$512,367.39 in support of various cancer care and awareness charities. The majority of this was in cash, with some sponsors donating services to assist with fund-raising. Additionally, there was a significant uptick in the number of people taking part in the walk; 32,200 as opposed to 19,800 in 2017.
“I am delighted to report that our collective efforts have paid off handsomely again as this latest figure surpasses 2017’s total of just under USD$450,000,” said Walk Co-Chair and CIBC FirstCaribbean Executive, Mark St. Hill.
In 2016, the event also surpassed the USD$500,000 mark but the adverse effects of hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017 led to the cancellation of walks in some territories and a consequent dip in funds raised.
Mr. St. Hill said he was “humbled by the thousands of men, women and children who answer our call every year to don their shirts and take the streets by the thousands to join in our crusade against cancer. It is very clear that after seven years of sustained effort on the part of our staff and scores of dedicated corporate sponsors that our Walk for the Cure has emerged as the largest single cancer fundraiser in this region.”
Last year’s figures bring the total number of funds raised in the past seven years to over USD$2.2 million and Mr. St. Hill noted that this was also a “remarkable achievement for such a relatively young event”.
Last year’s walks were for the first time 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 was a result of the unpredictability of the weather around the region at that time of year.
Walk committees in each territory partner with local cancer charities which are the recipients of the funds raised in their respective territory.
The Faces of Cancer and the Saint Lucia Cancer Society are the recipients of a combined total of $75,000 which was raised from the initiative in Saint Lucia.
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.