OVER US$100,000 RAISED BY CIBC FIRSTCARIBBEAN FOR ITS 2ND ANNUAL WALK FOR THE CURE

In July of this year, CIBC FirstCaribbean set a target of raising USD $30,000 to support cancer patients across the region through its regional Walk for the Cure. Three months later, the bank’s employees across the region are set to hand over more than three times the original target to cancer support groups in the Caribbean, having raised USD $104,853 through its various activities.

This is the second year that the bank has engaged in its Walk for the Cure across the Caribbean. This year, there was a special emphasis on fund-raising and employees organized a number of events and fund-raising drives to raise as much as possible, to be donated to organizations around the Caribbean that support and care for persons battling cancer.

Dr. Shirley Jhagroo, Medical Coordinator of the Breast Screening Unit attaches a commemorative pin to Gracie Elias, Walk Manager for CIBC FirstCaribbean Barbados

Dr. Shirley Jhagroo, Medical Coordinator of the Breast Screening Unit attaches a commemorative pin to Gracie Elias, Walk Manager for CIBC FirstCaribbean Barbados

In each country, the bank’s teams of volunteers also partnered with the local cancer support groups to organize awareness campaigns, cancer screening, in branch displays and the actual walk/run events, to bring a focus to the prevalence of the various forms of cancer that affect so many people in our region.

Just under 2100 employees, their friends and families across the region took part on the various run/ walk events, in many instances ending with a celebratory activity honouring those who have survived their battle with cancer, encouraging those who continue the fight, and remembering those who have been lost to the disease.

In Barbados, 476 registered walkers from the Bank joined with the Breast Screening Unit of the Barbados Cancer Society for a national walk and run on Sunday 6th October when over 3,000 persons took part. There was a sea of pink and white as the thousands left the Garrison Savannah to pledge their support to find a cure.

In the lead up to the walk and up to the end of October, employees at CIBC FirstCaribbean Barbados business including its Head Office, Technology and Operations support groups were still working feverishly to raise more funds to give to the Breast Screening Unit. They mounted bake sales, innovative raffles, karaoke sessions and table tennis tournaments among themselves in an atmosphere of competitive camaraderie.

At the end of it all, they had a grand total of $53,000 BDS which the Managing Director and Country Head for Barbados, Donna Wellington, proudly presented to Dr. Shirley Jhagroo, the Medical Coordinator of the Breast Screening Unit. During the presentation, Ms Wellington explained the many fundraising activities in which the staff was involved.

Chief Executive Officer of CIBC FirstCaribbean, Rik Parkhill, commended his team around the region for their dedication to the cause. “Cancer is a disease which has touched just about everyone in our company. Some of our people have themselves battled the disease and just about everyone has had a relative who has been affected. It’s a cause which is very close to us all, so we are not surprised that the response from our staff has been so overwhelming. This is their accomplishment, and I salute them for their efforts.”

Denise Carter-Taylor (left) of the Ministry of Health and a member of the Breast Screening Board and Gracie Elias (right), Walk Manager for CIBC FirstCaribbean Barbados witness the presentation from Donna Wellington, Managing Director and Country Head for CIBC FirstCaribbean Barbados to Dr. Shirley Jhagroo, Medical Coordinator of the Breast Screening Unit.

Denise Carter-Taylor (left) of the Ministry of Health and a member of the Breast Screening Board and Gracie Elias (right), Walk Manager for CIBC FirstCaribbean Barbados witness the presentation from Donna Wellington, Managing Director and Country Head for CIBC FirstCaribbean Barbados to Dr. Shirley Jhagroo, Medical Coordinator of the Breast Screening Unit.

So deep is the bank’s support for the Walk for the Cure initiative that it appointed two sponsors of the activities at the level of Executive Management of the Bank.

One of these was Managing Director for Customer Relationship Management and Strategy, Trevor Torzsas. He noted: “In just the second annual Caribbean Walk for the Cure, CIBC FirstCaribbean has raised $100k – quite an accomplishment. I am extremely proud of the team in this, just our second year! We look forward to continuing our efforts in the fight against this deadly disease. Our contributions will be used to improve detection, care and hopefully an eventual cure!

Managing Director for Human Resources, Ella Hoyos, was the other Executive Sponsor of this year’s Walk for the Cure. She commented: “Our people have a history of becoming actively involved in the bank’s community relations activities and this one was no exception. To be able to triple last year’s tally, within the context of the current economic environment, speaks highly of our employees’ understanding of the need, and commitment to lending assistance to those organizations that provide support to persons afflicted with a disease that may strike anyone of us at any time.”

CIBC FirstCaribbean first joined its parent company, CIBC, in the Walk for the Cure last year, as part of the Caribbean operation’s 10th anniversary celebrations. CIBC is a long-time sponsor of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation’s Run for the Cure, and has helped to raise over $30 Mil for cancer research during its 17-year sponsorship of the event.

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