The Digicel Foundation 5K Night Run/Walk is at high pitch for today's inaugural event in Downtown Kingston where thousands of runners will compete in what will be the Caribbean's first-ever night event of its kind.
Millicent Lynch of Dynamic Event Services, one of the organisers and host of Kingston Pon Di River, shared that her company is pleased to partner with Digicel for its inaugural 5K Walk Run Race. "The race is designed to build awareness and raise funds for the Special Needs community, so when Digicel asked us to join with them for this worthy cause we could not say no. Kingston Pon Di River is one of our signature family events; we see it as a way of getting Kingston on the international map as a safe cultural hub for the Caribbean. So Digicel setting the stage and showcasing downtown at night as a safe and fun place to be fits in perfectly with our aim," Lynch explained.
In the meantime, with the Jamaica Tourist Board also endorsing the event, Damion Crawford, State Minister for Tourism and Entertainment said: "The Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment commends the Digicel Foundation on staging the 5K Night Run/Walk, as part of its efforts to raise awareness of and support for Jamaica's special needs community. This endeavour demonstrates the Foundation's belief in the continuous improvement and elevation of all Jamaicans, especially the most vulnerable among us."
Continuing, Crawford said: "This noble initiative will not only raise well needed funds for several special needs schools and associations, but will also provide a major boost for the programme undertaken by the Government to revitalize downtown Kingston. For too long many persons have been unwilling to engage in productive activities or hold functions in this part of the city. But in recent times we have seen many entrepreneurs and corporate entities embracing the idea that downtown Kingston is a good place to do business. I would like to commend Digicel for supporting this effort by moving its head office from New Kingston to its newly constructed building in downtown Kingston."
The race is scheduled to begin at 7:00 pm with three dynamic starters: Paralympian, Tanto Campbell; dancehall artiste, Tifa and Special Olympian, Esther Pair. Chip-timed by Mylaps Bib Tag system, the race is estimated to last approximately 45 minutes with an award ceremony and concert immediately after.
Entertainment package for after-race show includes former winners of Digicel Rising Stars, Cameal Davis, Dalton Harris, Tash, and Latty J, as well as the 2012 winner of the new Digicel Stars competition, Sharona Jonas and finalist Falon Phillips. The emcees for the evening will be Simon Crosskill and Ms Kitty.
"The support we have been getting from people is truly inspiring," commented Samantha Chantrelle, Executive Director of the Digicel Foundation. "It makes all the hard work that has gone into this event more than worth it. It's very rewarding to see all the little pieces coming together to bring about an event of this magnitude, one that will not only include but benefit our special needs community,"
All proceeds from the Digicel Foundation 5K Night Run/Walk will go to support the continued growth and development of eight of Jamaica's special needs schools and associations. These are: the Jamaica Association for the Deaf, Jamaica Society for the Blind, Jamaica Autism Support Association (JASA), Jamaica Association on Intellectual Disabilities (JAID), the STEP Centre (School for Therapy Education and Parenting of children with multiple disabilities), NAZ Children's Centre (Montego Bay), Randolph Lopez School of Hope, and the Mustard Seed Communities.