BRIDGETOWN,Barbados – CIBC FirstCaribbean organizers of the region’s largest cancer care and awareness event – Walk for the Cure – has announced the cancelation of this year’s walkin five islands hardest hit by hurricanes Irma and Maria.
The annual cancer fundraiser has been cancelled in Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, St. Maarten and Turks and Caicos Islands, the walk’s Executive Co-Chairs and Managing Directors at CIBC FirstCaribbean Mark St. Hill and Trevor Torzsas announced in a joint statement.
They also revealed that all of the pre-walk funds raised so far in those territories by the local walk committees will be donated to cancer care and support organisations on those islands that have been impacted by the hurricanes.
The walk in St. Kitts which was also impacted by Irma has been postponed until the weekend of November 5, 2017.
“We are truly saddened at the loss of life and widespread destruction and suffering which these two massive storms have wreaked across these islands,” St. Hill and Torzsas said.
“Our bank along with our parent company CIBC in Canada has already announced donations totaling USD $450 000 toward relief efforts in the affected islands, with a further amount being reserved for assistance to Dominica, and our business has been working tirelessly to tailor special financial solutions for all of our clients to help them mitigate the devastating effects of the storms and start the rebuilding process,” the co-chairs added.
The sixth edition of CIBC FirstCaribbean’s Walk for the Cure is expected to again attract thousands of walkers and runners across the remaining 12 territories where the bank operates. The walks will take placeover the weekend of September 30th and October 1st, 2017
“Despite the obvious sadness that is felt all across the bank, there is still a very strong commitment to ensuring that this year’s walk and fundraising activities are even more successful than in previous years,” said Mr. Torzsas who is alsoManaging Director, Cards and Customer Relationship Management.
“Last year we raised USD$500, 000 all of which we donated to support the life-changing work of our partnercancer care organisations in each of the countries where we operate. This year, with the destruction and disruption caused by the storms to many of the essential medical, diagnostic and aftercare support services, in the impacted islands, the need for financial support has become even more critical,” said Mr. St. Hill, Managing Director, Retail and Business Banking.
The funds raised by the initiative are 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 also help the various organisations to assist with the purchase and maintenance of equipment used in the diagnosis and treatment of patients.
Over the past five years the bank has raised over USD $1.3 million from the event primarily supported by generous corporate donors and diverse fundraising activities and events hosted by staff members.
So far this year just over USD$300 000 has been raised though the generous support of corporate sponsors and a variety of fundraising activities organized by the bank’s staff across the region.
The 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.