SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – Year number eight is shaping up to be great for the region’s largest cancer fundraising and awareness event - CIBC FirstCaribbean’s Walk for the Cure.
With a new executive co-chair and several new walk managers heading in-house planning committees across the bank’s 16-member footprint, all seems set for the event to surpass its target of USD$550 000 this year. Over the last seven years the event has raised over USD$ 2.2million. The walk weekends will again be in September and October this year, with the majority of the walks taking place the first weekend in October and in many territories, fundraising activities have started.
In St. Maarten, the bank is elated to have the Positive and the Elektralytes Foundations’ Pink, Phit, Phabulous walk/run join in its efforts. The event which is held annually by the two foundations will fuse with CIBC’s Walk for the Cure on October 5th, and together, heighten awareness and raise funds to assist those whose lives have been impacted by cancer on St. Maarten.
“A yearly crusade of thousand joining hearts and hands, rallying for a cure against cancer has become our corporate heartbeat and it is not only my vision but the vision of our CEO, our walk Co-Chairs and our employees. To see it continue to grow, is heartwarming and hopefully we will soon be raising millions in St. Maarten for this worthy cause”, stated St. Maarten’s Country Manager, Garth Sherwood.
“We are very honored that CIBC FirstCaribbean has chosen the Positive Foundation as the 2019 partner/beneficiary for proceeds from Walk for the Cure. This event is a fundraiser, an awareness opportunity and it addresses one of the controllable risk factors for reducing our risk for breast cancer – physical activity. We are committed to Feel it, Find it and Fight It, said President of Positive Foundation, Shelly Alphonso.
New walk executive co-chair Dan Wright is very excited about this year’s walk and predicts that it could be “our biggest walk ever!” He noted “it’s rare to find someone who’s life has not been touched by cancer either directly or indirectly and anything we can do to assist in finding a cure is time well spent”.
Mr. Wright who is also the bank’s Managing Director, Wealth Management noted that “CIBC FirstCaribbean has a long tradition of giving back to the communities in which we work and live and it is an honor to be involved at the leadership level in Walk for the Cure 2019. I have been a regular participant and supporter of this event since arriving in Cayman, we have a very engaged team in Cayman and across the region and I look forward to our biggest walk ever!”
Fellow executive co-chair and Managing Director, Retail and Business Banking, Mark St. Hill said he was “humbled to be associated with the Walk for the Cure which continues to positively impact the communities we operate in helping so many individuals and families that are dealing with the scourge of cancer”.
Petra Abdul-Hamid, the bank’s Human Resources Supporting Officer heads the St.Maarten Walk Committee. She has led the Walk consecutively for the last four years, together with a great team of dedicated employees.
The event has attracted thousands of walkers from The Bahamas in the North to Trinidad in the South and has spawned a regional network of sponsors that has grown yearly. The efforts of these corporate partners coupled with the creative and tireless efforts of hundreds of CIBC FirstCaribbean employees who engage in diverse fundraising activities and events have propelled the fundraising from a modest USD$30 000 at the inception of the walk seven years ago to the staggering USD$512,367.39 raised in 2018.
The funds generated from the walk, which is held in partnership with cancer care organisations in each territory, are truly life changing. The funds are used primarily to assist with the purchase and maintenance of equipment used in the diagnosis and treatment of patients. They are also used to provide assistance, care and counselling to patients and their families as well as to raise awareness, and stress the importance of early detection, through education campaigns across the region.
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 FirstCaribbean Account C/A 10055400.