Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Digicel Foundation Boosts Special Needs with 5K Run/Walk proceeds

23 year-old Genesis Academy student Jehanne Thompson shows (from second left) Kamal Powell, Digicel's Senior Sponsorship and Development Manager; Jean Lowrie-Chin, Digicel Foundation Chairman and Natalie Chin-Watkins, Head of Advertising, Marketing and Communications at the Observer how to properly make French toast. Genesis is one of 12 partners that received proceeds from the Digicel Foundation 5K Run/Walk held in October 2014.
Kingston, Jamaica:  Twelve special needs schools and institutions recently received well-needed support through proceeds from the third annual Digicel Foundation 5K Run/Walk.
Proceeds of J$6.9 million received from the 5K Run/Walk were officially distributed to 12 partners when the Foundation and the event sponsors visited their offices on Thursday, April 23. In October 2014 the Digicel Foundation hosted the signature event which saw the involvement of 8,052 participants, a 10% increase from the previous year, making the annual 5K Run/Walk the fastest growing race of its kind in the island.
Rudolph Gordon, a student of the Lister Mair/Gilby High School for the Deaf (left) teaches Digicel Jamaica Brand Ambassador Alphanso Cunningham how to say his name in sign language. Looking on are (L-R): Judine Hunter, Special Needs Programme Manager, Digicel Foundation; a Lister Mair/Gilby student;  Luri-Ann  Grant, Marketing Officer, Island Grill; Andrew Gordon, Technical Drawing teacher at the school and Brian Schmidt, Marketing Manager, IRIE FM. The Jamaica Association for the Deaf, whose leadership the school falls under, is one of the 12 partners who received proceeds from the 2014 Digicel Foundation 5K Run/Walk.
For Adama Balgrove, Founder and Principal of the Montego Bay Autism Centre, the Digicel Foundation has answered her prayers. "We are so thankful. When we heard the news we were surprised as this came at a time where it is well needed," Balgrove said. The Montego Bay Autism Centre is a first time recipient of the 5K Run/Walk and will be using the funds to furnish their new facility located at Appleton Hall in St. James.
Another first time recipient, Special Olympics Jamaica, will be utilizing the funds for training ahead of the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles this year. "Nothing happens ahead of its time," said Lorna Bell, Executive Director of Special Olympics Jamaica. "With 93 days to go to the Summer Games the funds will be used for stepping up training, towards the athlete's nutrition and to beautifying the Special Olympics Court recently built by the Digicel Foundation."
Other recipients include: Liberty Academy, Jamaica Association on Intellectual Disabilities, Jamaica Association for the Deaf, Jamaica Society for the Blind, Jamaica Downs Syndrome Foundation, STEP Centre, Mustard Seed Communities - Jacob's ladder, Early Stimulation Plus, Genesis Academy and Jamaica Autism Support Association.
"Digicel, through the Digicel Foundation, is a committed partner to the special needs sector in Jamaica," said Judine Hunter, Special Needs Programme Manager at the Digicel Foundation. "Giving back is part of our core values as we continue to provide capacity and training to the special needs sector. We know these partners will be impacting the lives of persons with special needs through these proceeds."
The 4th annual 5K Run/Walk takes place in October 2015 in downtown Kingston.
Tashna-Toya Edwards
Account Executive
6 Kingsway | Kingston 10 | Jamaica W.I
Tel: (876) 926 6740 | Cell: (876) 550-7021| Fax: 926 8676
Email: tashna.edwards@procomm.com.jm
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