THE Jamaica Cancer Society (JCS) says that a $2-m injection from CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank has been a boon for cancer care, as it will help to increase screening for various cancers and selected diagnostic services across the island, according to Yulit Gordon, executive director, JCS.

The funds represent proceeds from the 2014 CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank’s annual Walk for the Cure and teams from the bank’s 14 branches across the island and their corporate office are gearing up to surpass that amount at this year’s walk, on October 4, 2015.

They plan to raise an additional US$300,000 and have already secured US$165,000 one month before the highly anticipated event.

Walk for the Cure, which benefits cancer organisations throughout the region, will unite over 10,000 passionate participants in 17 countries in which the bank operates, in a demonstration of their commitment to assist those affected by cancer. In each country, the bank partners with the local cancer organisation.

The regional event, now in its fourth year, was planned to coincide with the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation’s CIBC Run for the Cure, which the bank’s parent company, CIBC, has been sponsoring for more than 20 years.

In the first three years, Walk for the Cure raised approximately US$330,000 to support critical cancer care, purchase vital equipment necessary to treat patients and host general education programmes to create greater awareness of the disease across the region.

As the pre-walk campaign intensifies, co-chairs for this year’s walk, CIBC FirstCaribbean executives Trevor Torzsas and Mark St Hill, praised the fund-raising efforts of the bank’s staff and the enthusiastic support of the public, which has been making donations made in special accounts in each of the Caribbean territories where the bank operates, and the business community which has been putting up sponsorship dollars.

Trevor Torzsas noted: “This time last year we hadn’t even started to track our fund-raising. We are getting a real head start and on the path to make an even bigger difference in 2015. This year the enthusiasm of our people is even greater and some of our countries started their fund-raising immediately after last year’s event. We’ve seen the result through this fantastic achievement with more than a month to go.”

Mark St Hill added: “We are immensely proud of our employees across the region. They have come together to make this cause a common one, to assist those in our communities who are affected by this disease. We at CIBC FirstCaribbean have not remained unaffected by cancer, having lost several staff members, and several of our staff’s family members to the disease. We want to do our part to help in this most important fight.”

Nigel Holness, managing director, CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank Jamaica, said “We are tremendously encouraged by the support already pledged by several individual and corporate partners in Jamaica.”

Among the sponsors are: Delexis Pharmacy, GAS Investments Ltd, Quality Contractors Depot Ltd, Kemtek Development & Construction Company Ltd, Square One Supermarket, RaeJen Car Rentals, Current Building Systems, Ocean’s 11, Beep Beep Tyres, Batteries and Lubricants, Advanced Precision Security Services Limited, Simply the Best Restaurant, Mongoose Restaurant Bar & Lounge, Malcolm’s Trucking, Leighton Hamilton Associates, Greg Chung Texaco , Nations Choice Limited, Fujitsu Caribbean (Jamaica) Limited.

Registration details for Walk for the Cure are available at all branches of CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank.

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