Kevin and Christian in Barbados lost a parent to cancer. Keturah in the Bahamas and Shadden in Grand Cayman are walking for loved ones lost, while Sharon in Antigua celebrates her mother’s triumph over cancer. Throughout the 17 countries where CIBC FirstCaribbean operates, the inaugural “CIBC FirstCaribbean walk to support the fight against cancer” promises to be an historic event.

Building on the 16 years during which its parent company, CIBC, has been at the forefront of supporting research to find a cure for cancer through its title sponsorship of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation’s CIBC Run for the Cure, CIBC FirstCaribbean is organizing this year’s event in the Caribbean as an activity for its staff, their friends and family, with plans to partner with organizations supporting those affected by cancer to open the event to the public from 2013.

The bank’s Chief Executive Officer, Rik Parkhill, and members of the bank’s Senior Executive Team, will join staff around the region on the weekend of September 29-30 for seventeen special walks.

Mr. Parkhill noted: “Finding a cure for cancer is a very personal cause for me. I have lost many friends and relatives, young and old, to the disease. My mother is the latest member of my family to wage a battle against cancer. Our participation in the CIBC FirstCaribbean Walk for a Cure is important in terms of increasing awareness of the disease; raising funds for cancer care, treatment and research; showing support for cancer survivors; and remembering those who have passed.”

Over 3,000 CIBC FirstCaribbean employees, friends and family in the Caribbean will join more than 13,000 employees, family and friends of Team CIBC in 60 different Run sites across Canada – who will take part in Canada’s CIBC Run for the Cure, uniting employees of the CIBC group of companies in a common cause.

Following the walks, each Caribbean country will host a special staff event. For example, more than 350 people will join the St. Kitts & Nevis Cancer Society for two walks in the Federation – one in St. Kitts and one in Nevis – which will culminate with ceremonies to honour those who have died of cancer.

In Barbados, one thousand people will take over the Garrison Savannah and its environs for a 1 KM walk and a 5 KM run, followed by a health fair featuring Zumba and the uniquely Barbadian name “Wuk up Work out” exercise class.

In Trinidad & Tobago, the walk event culminates an entire week’s activities designed to bring the focus on cancer, including staff testing and testimonials from persons who have fought the disease and are now cancer free. The team in Antigua will traverse the capital’s St. John’s to hand out flyers about cancer, while more than 300 persons will take part in a lap-a-thon in Kingston, Jamaica.

Employees have also given donations to go towards the work of the cancer organizations within their various countries, and the funds collected will be matched by CIBC FirstCaribbean’s charitable foundation.

Mr. Parkhill added: “We see this as an integral part of CIBC First Caribbean’s continuing commitment to be engaged with the real issues facing our clients and their communities. By becoming personally involved in the event, by showing up and walking or running, together we can each demonstrate that CIBC FirstCaribbean’s commitment to the Caribbean is about more than handing over a donation.”

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