Despite falling short of its USD$500, 000 target, CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank is reporting that last year’s Walk for the Cure was a major success, raising just over USD$450, 000 region wide.
This brings the total funds raised over the past six years through the initiative, which seeks to raise awareness about cancer, to USD$1.75 million.
Walks took place across the Dutch and English speaking Caribbean where the bank has a presence except for Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, St Maarten and Turks and Caicos Islands, which were hardest hit by hurricanes Irma and Maria.
Thousands took to the streets primarily on the first weekend in October, dressed in white or pink T-shirts, to walk and run to raise awareness of the various cancers and their impact on families.
Executive Co-Chairs of the walk Mark St Hill and Trevor Torzsas praised efforts of staff, volunteers and corporate sponsors for their “phenomenal fundraising efforts again this year which will save lives, provide care and raise awareness.
“The commitment to this project which our employees have exhibited over the years is nothing short of remarkable. They do this on an entirely voluntary basis – along with the rest of their work – and every year we are astounded by what they are able to achieve. Likewise, our list of corporate partners continues to grow every year as more businesses join us in our fight against cancer,” said Torzsas, who is the bank’s managing director, cards & customer relationship and management.
St Hill, who is the managing director, retail and business banking, also said CIBC FirstCaribbean was equally “thrilled” about the success of the venture.
“We were able to raise a significant amount of money which will assist those battling cancer and their families. Just as important, we were also able to continue to spread the message of education and early detection as two of the most potent weapons in the fight against the disease,” he said, adding that even though “we fell short of our regional target of USD$500 000, raising just over USD $450 000 we are not discouraged.
“There was a good reason for this; five of our countries were forced to halt their campaigns in September following the passage of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. But despite this we are happy to report that these five countries will donate whatever they had raised prior to the storms to help their cancer societies rebuild and continue their vital service to persons affected by cancer,” St Hill said.
In Barbados, BDS$214,000 was handed over to the Breast Screening Unit of the Barbados Cancer Society after an historic number of Barbadians turned out to support the walk on Sunday, October 1, 2017.
The funds are to be used to provide assistance, care and counselling to patients and their families as well as to raise awareness through education campaigns across the region. They will also go towards the purchase and maintenance of equipment used in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer patients.
The regional walk is held to coincide with the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation’s CIBC Run for the Cure sponsored by the bank’s parent company, CIBC. CIBC has been supporting this event for 21 years, donating millions to breast cancer research in Canada.