$52.4-M BONANZA

Sigma Run raises record money for needy charities

BY SHERDON COWAN
staff reporter
cowans@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, February 18, 2019

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After much planning, organisers of the 21st staging of the Sagicor Sigma Corporate Run can turn to celebration having surpassed their targets for the number of participants and donations yesterday.

The annual event, dubbed the Caribbean's largest road race, continued to lift its standard with a record-breaking turnout of 27,028 participants and $52.4 million raised for beneficiaries – The Lupus Foundation of Jamaica, Diabetes Association of Jamaica and the May Pen Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Those numbers highlight this year's edition as the most successful execution of the 5K run, walk and wheelchair race since its inception in 1999, surpassing the intended targets of 25,000 participants and $52 million.

Alyssa White, Sagicor Group's assistant vice-president of marketing, was beaming about the achievement, which she described as the perfect outcome given their behind-the-scenes effort for the fundraising event.

“We do it every year because of the far-reaching impact it has for the beneficiaries we assist and the many lives they touch. Perfect is exactly what we strive for and so we are really overwhelmed about this achievement,” Whyte told the Jamaica Observer.

“It is a record-breaking year, so we always love that, we have never done this before…broken both records at the same time and had so many individuals registered to participate and donating. So we are eternally grateful and we start planning for 2020 tomorrow (today),” she added with a broad smile.

White pointed out that she was impressed by the level of support for the charity event that has donated approximately $350 million to various beneficiaries over the years.

The growth of the Sigma Corporate Run has been evident over the years as $21 million, $26 million and $43 million, was raised in 2014, 2015 and 2016 respectively, with $50.5 million raised in 2017. Approximately 26,519 participants flocked New Kingston last year with a $50 million-haul going to the St Christopher's School for the Deaf and the Spanish Town Neonatal Unit.

“We pride ourselves in what we do and we love to raise the bar. So the pressure is always on to make Sigma Corporate Run bigger and better than the year before, not necessarily bigger in terms of numbers, but bigger in terms of the experience and the impact that we have on the beneficiaries and also the people of Jamaica.

“I just want to say $52 million thank you to everyone in the country and internationally, who called to donate and sent money for the cause. Everyone, who participated, our race directors and volunteers, thank you,” Whyte noted.

According to Desiree Tulloch-Reid, president of the Lupus Foundation of Jamaica, the support to come through the Sagicor Sigma Run, will go a far way in assisting the foundation in making efficient and accurate diagnosis for treatments.

“We are just so delighted, the Lupus Foundation is all about ensuring that people with lupus have all the support they need to not just survive but to thrive and so it means so much to us for Sagicor to come alongside us and give us this immense support.

“We have a number of projects that we hope they will be able to support through this venture, one of them could be a diagnostic device that we hope will help to save a lot of lives. So we are really grateful to Sagicor and the volunteers and those who participated or donated to this venture to assist the cause,” Tulloch-Reid reasoned.

Meanwhile, Jamaican-born Canadian fashion model and runway coach, Stacey McKenzie, also heaped praises on Sigma Run, which has impacted the lives of many Jamaicans, particularly in the health care sector.

McKenzie and Olympian Yohan Blake were this year's patrons.


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