SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – The region’s largest cancer fundraiser, CIBC FirstCaribbean’s Walk for the Cure, is going virtual this year and hoping to attract even more numbers.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the world and caused us to find new and innovative ways of doing things and Walk for the Cure 2020, while staying true to its mandate of raising cancer awareness in the region and supporting cancer care and education organisations, will definitely be walking a new route this year. A virtual one!” said executive co-chair of the walk and Managing Director, Retail and Business Banking, Mark St. Hill
He noted that plans are already being rolled out across the region for the virtual event, which will see the usual fundraising and pre-walk activities in each territory taking place online and via social media, before culminating with a Regional Virtual Walk and Concert of Hope on October 4th starting at 4pm.
This online event will feature fitness personalities and performances from some of the biggest names in entertainment from the Dutch and English-speaking Caribbean who will perform at the event.
Executive co-chair and the bank’s Managing Director, Wealth Management Dan Wright said the new format would allow for “thousands more across the region and in the diaspora to participate and offer their support to this very worthy cause”.
Mr. Wright noted while no fundraising target will be set or the usual tiers of sponsorship offered, he was still very hopeful that the cancer support and care organisations that benefit from the walk will still receive significant support from businesses and the public.
“We are keenly aware of the adverse financial effects felt by virtually all businesses as a result of Covid-19. We thank our many corporate partners, many of whom have been with us from the inception, for their support over the years and we are hopeful of their support this year, even if at a reduced level”, he noted.
In addition to participation from around the region the bank hopes to appeal to Caribbean people – and friends and supporters from around the world.
This is the ninth year for the walk which takes place across the bank’s 16-member footprint and has raised over USD$2.7 million over the past eight years.
In St. Maarten, the bank is excited to again partner with the Positive and the Elektralytes Foundations – together strengthening the support for more education and awareness. With last year’s merger and sponsorships, the walk raised a grand total of USD $16,000 for the benefit of the Positive Foundation.
Ahead of the Regional Virtual Walk and Concert of Hope on October 4th, persons wishing to support the cause can purchase custom Walk for the Cure face masks that will soon be available at both Philipsburg and Cole Bay branches. Contributions can also be made at the branches via the walk’s donation drop boxes or via CIBC FirstCaribbean Account C/A 10055400.
The funds generated from the walk are used primarily to assist with the purchase and maintenance of equipment used in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer 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.