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Community Last Updated: Oct 5, 2017 - 4:24:05 PM

Never too Early to ‘Walk for the Cure’
By Serena Williams
Oct 5, 2017 - 9:57:56 AM

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Pictured are CIBC executives Trevor Torzsas and Marie Rodland-Allen with 15 of the 37 sixth annual Walk for the Cure sponsors. Kneeling in front: Regina Smith, Energy Fitness Bahamas. First row: Doyle Rolle, Bahamas Power & Light (BPL); Nikolette Eldon, British Colonial Hilton Hotel; Kira Horton, Bentonite Beauty Clay; Trevor Torzsas, Managing Director of Cards and Customer Relationship Strategy, CIBC FirstCaribbean; Marie Rodland-Allen, Managing Director, Bahamas & TCI, CIBC FirstCaribbean; Patrice Knowles, Restaurants Bahamas; Basil Bodie, Wemco Security. Second row: Keva Bridgewater, BTC Business; Michela Barnett-Ellis, Graham Thompson; Sasha Pratt, Caribbean Bottling Company; Alice Similien, Going Places Travel. Third row: Don Davis, Quality Home Center; Lana Rademaker, Damianos Sotheby’s Realty; O’Niel Bain, Rubis Bahamas Ltd.; Lana Lee-Brogdon, New Oriental Laundry and Cleaners; Margo Gibson, Milo Butler Distributors. Back row: Leah Carr, Serena Williams PR; Juanita Edwards, AVIS; Deirdre Gardner, AVIS; Chris Brogdon, New Oriental Laundry and Cleaners. Photo credit: Derek Smith Jnr.

Nassau, Bahamas - Four hundred plus early morning risers jostling for front line position were etched against the night sky as a voice proclaiming, “Walk for the Cure” signaled the start of the 6th annual CIBC FirstCaribbean cancer awareness fundraiser Sunday morning, October 1.

Participants started arriving at 6:00 a.m. for registration and for the warmup exercise session with Regina Smith of Energy Fitness Bahamas. Dawn had not yet broken when the 400 plus walkers and runners set off at 6:30 a.m. from the Goodman’s Bay Corporate Centre on West Bay Street. There were prizes to be won for runners and walkers in the long route to Sandals Resort or to the closer Melia Resort and back. A musical cool down session with Fab Fit Studio greeted them on their return. A praise and worship service for survivors and in memory of those lost to cancer, a hot breakfast and fruits, and an interesting array of vendor booths primarily related to health and wellness filled the time until the much anticipated awards ceremony.

Growing concerns in communities on the proliferation of cancer related conditions regionally have brought an increased focus on raising funds to help care for those with the disease and to advance ways and means to help prevent it, to get people to get regular check-ups, and to treat it.  

Gandieze Reckley and Keya Young of “Team Caring and Sharing,” who won the best dressed team of the day, pin ribbons of support to the survivor’s board. Photo credit: Derek Smith Jnr.

Marie-Rodland-Allen, CIBC FirstCaribbean’s Managing Director, spoke at the event and pointed out that the fundraising Walk was for the benefit of the many areas related to cancer awareness and patient care, and she applauded and thanked sponsors and attendees.

“Today, we’re not just walking for those who are dealing with this disease right now. We are also walking for those who, God forbid, might encounter the disease; and we’re also walking because through the efforts that we’re making here and with other fundraisers, through awareness and through education, we are trying to help keep anyone else from ever encountering this disease by early detection and prevention. So thank you very much for your participation.”

Executives, staff and family members of first time sponsors AVIS are pictured with their van that they loaned for the use of the Walk for the Cure as a part of their sponsorship. L - R: Dwayne Rolle, Phillip Rolle, Juanita Edwards, Joy Ferguson, Deirdre Gardner, Geraldo Bullard, Melonie Badmus, Florence Roberts, Ed Newell, and Tevia Lockhart. Not shown: Bill Saunders, Kevin Sears, and Ashley Newell. Photo credit: Derek Smith Jnr.

Trevor Torzsas, Executive Co-Chair of Walk for the Cure and Managing Director of Cards & Customer Relationship Strategy, said that every cent raised by “Walk for the Cure” is donated to local cancer support organizations.

“The cancer support groups here are doing great work - they are dedicated, selfless people on the front lines with the medical staff and family members; we are proud to be able to support them.  We’re extremely grateful to all of the other corporate sponsors who are donating money and resources and putting teams forward to walk in the event each year – it’s become a real community effort.

“My hope is that everyone enjoys the experience, the sense of community that the event brings, and to encourage those in the fight to keep going.

“That’s what this Walk is all about.  Each year we are seeing a lot of people wanting to get directly involved and it has become a family affair too, with mom, dad, kids, aunts and uncles all participating in the Walk together.”

Walk for the Cure winners lined up for their prizes along with CIBC FirstCaribbean’s executives Marie Rodland-Allen and Trevor Torzsas. L – R: Patrick Ferguson, Martin Larralde, Marie Rodland-Allen, Trevor Torzsas, Wellington S. Ramsey, and “Wendy.” Photo credit: Derek Smith Jnr.

Runners and walkers set the pace as they take off at the starting line. Photo credit: Derek Smith Jnr.

Cable & Wireless BTC Business is the 'CIBC Walk for the Cure' Platinum Regional Sponsor for The Bahamas and the Caribbean. Connecting with the cause to raise funds and help increase awareness of cancer, four BTC Business team members showed their support by going the distance with nearly 400 others in the early morning hours on Sunday October 1. L- R: Dorothy Thompson, Salome Charles, Teniele Simmons, and Keva Bridgewater. Photo: Serena Williams PR.

CIBC FirstCaribbean team members were in charge of registering and rallying walkers at the Walk for the Cure sign-up station at Goodman’s Bay Corporate Center. L - R: Carla Hamilton, Tajah Bain and her dog Apollo, Tristan Farrington, Tayla Bain, and Anishka Bain (front). Photo: Serena Williams PR

“Team Caring and Sharing” stood out in the crowd with their matching pink uniforms and flower crowns that showcased their solidarity and victory in the fight against cancer. They won the award for best dressed team. L – R: Gandieze Reckley, Therese Johnson, Keya Young, and Tasha Roker.

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