Digicel Foundation partnering to support special needs community

Sunday, February 09, 2014    

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The Digicel Foundation hit the road last week Thursday with sponsors of its 5K Run/Walk to disburse the proceeds of last year's event.

Last October, over 7,000 people came out to 'shine their light' for members of the special needs community at the second staging of the event.

Eleven special needs schools and associations will be the recipients of the proceeds totalling $7.4 million. These are Early Stimulation Plus, Genesis Academy, the STEP Centre, Mustard Seed Communities, Liberty Academy, the Jamaica Association on Intellectual Disabilities, Jamaica Autism Support Association, Jamaica Association for the Blind, Jamaica Association for the Deaf, NAZ Children's Centre, and the Jamaica Downs Syndrome Foundation (JDSF).

In the days leading up to last year's 5K, CVM TV documented and aired the great work that many of these special needs schools and organisations are engaged in.

Natalie Peterson, marketing manager at CVM TV, expressed her delight at having partnered with the Digicel Foundation to further support the special needs community. "We view our partnership with the Digicel Foundation on this worthy cause, from our on-air promotion of the event to the sharing of our tent with the Jamaica Association on Intellectual Disabilities at the actual event, as our duty.

In the words of Digicel ambassador Tifa: "'The special needs community are us and we are them' — we at CVM TV are honoured to take a stand for them."

Island Grill provided meals for Digicel's staff volunteers and adopted members of Jacob's Ladder team on the night of the 5K, sharing their tent for the Run/Walk. Marketing assistant at Island Grill, Corve DaCosta, noted that his company felt extremely proud to be a part of the Digicel Foundation 5K Night Run/Walk and pledged its continued support. "We will continue to support and lift up those who demonstrate the continuous improvement of those living with special needs and other vulnerable Jamaicans. As a corporate citizen, we have the responsibility to support the next generation and that includes all Jamaicans, including those with special needs. Kudos to Mustard Seed Communities and the excellent work they do."

This year is Digicel Foundation's 10th anniversary and the team is in high gear preparing for the 2014 Digicel Foundation 5K Night Run/Walk with the hope of garnering even more support than last year.

"Last year's event was a wonderful success and we could not have done it without the dedication of our valued partners and the support we received from over 7,000 members of the public," said Judine Hunter, special needs programme manager at the Digicel Foundation. "It is because of our partners and the event's supporters that we have this funding to disburse to 11 special needs schools and organisations. It is so heart-warming to see an underserved community receiving this amount of recognition and support."

Other partners include: the Jamaica Observer, IRIE Fm, KLAS FM, JP Tropical Foods Ltd, Peak Bottling Company Ltd, Rainforest Seafoods, Sportsmax, Guardsman, Virginia Dare, Express Fitness, RJR Communications Group, Island Grill, CVM, JTB, J Wray & Nephew, UDC, KSAC, CPJ, Tru-Juice and Jamaica Producers.

In celebration of its 10th anniversary, the Digicel Foundation is seeking to garner even greater support for the 5K Run/ Walk for special needs this year, noted Samantha Chantrelle. "2014 is a year of renewed hope and vigour. This year we celebrate 10 years of existence, we have so many plans to make 2014 an even more memorable year and we ask members of the public to join and support us as we work towards improving the lives of persons living with special needs."

SUPPORTING A WORTHY CAUSE: Digicel ambassadors, Olympian Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Paralympian Alphonso Cunningham, were out to support Digicel Foundation's 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, October 26 in downtown Kingston.





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