'Walk for the Cure' — more than just corporate social responsibility for CIBC FirstCaribbean

'Walk for the Cure' — more than just corporate social responsibility for CIBC FirstCaribbean

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

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CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank, in the days leading up to its flagship sponsorship event 'Walk for the Cure,' is making it clear that the event and many others undertaken by the bank transcends its corporate social responsibility mandate. This, as the bank prides itself on and commits to spearheading support for the community.

Speaking at a Jamaica Observer Monday Exchange, Nigel Holness, managing director of CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank, shared with reporters and editors that his company thought it prudent to provide sponsorship of this event as it is a worthwhile and very important initiative that helps to provide life-changing solutions for many people who may not have other financial alternatives. This, for him, is greater than just ensuring corporate social responsibility.

“Cancer impacts everyone. We can go into communities and build schools but we can't do it for everyone; but certainly supporting the Jamaica Cancer Society touches every single person,” he said.

Holness, in further stating his claim, highlighted that the idea of providing assistance to these causes is also institutionally entrenched, as cuts from the bank's profits go towards the cause.

“CIBC ComTrust, through the group office of our parent company, CIBC in Barbados — demands a percentage of the profits from the bank towards these causes. In Jamaica, in particular, we don't necessarily earmark a percentage of profits but we go through the ComTrust — so sometimes it's more than 2-3-4 per cent of our profits in Jamaica that we are giving back to a worthy cause. There's no limit”, he shared with The Observer.

Holness continued to highlight how active his bank through their community relations arm has been in supporting their local communities for even things outside of cancer.

“We have a local budget but that's typically done for the in-house small requests that come in so, for example, a basic school comes in and say they want a printer, we buy the printer and hand it over to them. In that community in which we serve we try to give back- not only giving back in dollar value but in kind, including staff members actually going out and doing the work themselves, we do things that impact lives significantly”, he further stated.

The Walk for the Cure marathon is scheduled for September 29, commencing at 6:00 am at Hope Gardens, with proceeds from the event going directly to the Jamaica Cancer Society.

CIBC FirstCaribbean, since 2012 leading up to this year's 8th staging, has managed to provide $18.8 million dollars to the cause. The funds generated from the walk are used primarily to assist with the purchase and maintenance of equipment used in the diagnosis and treatment of patients. The funds are also used to provide assistance, care and counselling to patients and their families as well as to raise awareness, and stress the importance of early detection through education campaigns across the region.

Carolind Graham, chairman of Jamaica Reach to Recovery and breast cancer survivor, also added that the battle with cancer is one that is very expensive; as such she commends the work being done by CIBC and its Walk for the Cure initiative.

“If you need to do something like radiotherapy you're looking at $2 million; you need to do a bone scan, you're looking at $40,000 - $60,000 per scan — the whole thing is a financial heartache. I don't know what can be done, I don't know how we can lobby, whether Government or private sector or whomever but there is a real need for help”, she shared.

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