From left: CIBC FirstCaribbean Branch Manager Perry Wilson and Sales Specialist Janice James with Still Beautiful Foundation board members Cresencia Brown and Kenrick Housen.
PHILIPSBURG–CIBC FirstCaribbean’s Walk for the Cure fundraiser has donated US $14,400 to Still Beautiful Foundation in support for the organisation’s efforts.
Walk for the Cure, a cancer fundraiser, has topped the half-million-dollar mark in fundraising for cancer causes across the English and Dutch Caribbean.
Founded in 2014 by Marcelina “Maso” Loblack, Still Beautiful focuses on cancer awareness and reaching out to breast cancer patients in particular with personalised care and providing counselling and education. The foundation has counselled more than 50 persons and their families, worked with 30 chemotherapy patients over the last five years, and continues to bring cancer awareness to the forefront via presentations to schools and organisations on the island.
The combined efforts of the various organising committees, sponsors and participants in the 17 territories where the bank has a presence raised a total of $512,367.39 in support of various cancer care and awareness charities last year. The majority of this was in cash, with some sponsors donating services to assist with fund-raising. There was also 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 $450 000,” said Walk co-chair and CIBC FirstCaribbean executive Mark St. Hill.
The event also surpassed the $500,000 mark in 2016, 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.
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, our Walk for the Cure has emerged as the largest single cancer fundraiser in this region.”
Last year’s figures bring the total amount of funds raised in the past seven years to more than $2.2 million and St. Hill noted that this was also a “remarkable achievement for such a relatively young event.”
Last year’s walks were spread over two months for the first time, spanning weekends in September and October in various territories instead of most walks taking place on the first weekend in October. 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. 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, the bank said in a press release.