Sigma charity event raises $21m; Pitter, James triumph
NATIONAL cross-country runners Shawn Pitter and Danielle James ran out victors of the male and female Open Run at the 16th staging of the Sagicor Sigma 5K Run in the Corporate Area yesterday.
Pitter, who won the event last year and was participating for the second time, covered the distance in a blistering time of 16 minutes and 29 seconds ahead of Dwayne Gordon and Garfield Gordon (no relations).
"I feel great, I could have run faster but I was running within myself," said Pitter.
James, who easily won the female section ahead of Trudy Graham, said she used the run as preparation for an upcoming event.
"I feel great, last year I came second and this year I came to win. It was a good run as I am getting myself ready to compete in Trinidad & Tobago next week," she told the Jamaica Observer.
The best Company T-shirt went to Advance Integrated Systems, with Jamaica National and Jamaica Yellow Pages finishing second and third, respectively. The Corporate overall male team was won by Kingston Bookshop, while the female section was captured by National Commercial Bank.
Scotiabank won the prize for having the largest delegation.
This year, the event exceeded expectations on two crucial fronts. One, the run raised in excess of $21.6 million, the most in the history of the event, surpassing the target of $17 million. Also, a record 22,268 individuals took part in the fund-raising exercise.
This year's beneficiaries are The Sickle Cell Unit at UWI with the support for the Sickle Cell Trust in Mandeville, The Special Care Nursery at University Hospital and the Jamaica Kidney Kids Foundation.
Chief executive officer (CEO) of Sagicor Investment Limited, Donovan Perkins, was delighted with the response from corporate Jamaica.
"We are always trying to beat our target and the support from corporate Jamaica, saw us having a really good fund-raiser this year.
"The turnout was amazing, it has grown by about 10 per cent, we are on the brink of passing 30,000. Our aim at Sagicor is to help make Jamaica a better place and I really want to thank all the individuals and companies who participated," he said.
Last year, 20,501 persons registered to walk, run or wheelchair, with all proceeds raised donated to charity. As a result, $16,026,870 was allocated amony the Bustamante Hospital for Children, Jamaica National Children's Home and the Best Care Lodge.