'Run for the Fun, Donate for the Cause'
The Sagicor Sigma Corporate Run has established itself on Jamaica's business, athletic and social calendars. Started in 1999, the race has galvanised corporate Jamaica and individuals to participate and contribute significantly to sustainable projects that focus on health and children.
The broad support enjoyed by the race has resulted in projects that have helped a wide cross section of Jamaicans and contributed to nation building. The event has developed a stellar reputation for execution and has grown to become the largest road race in the Caribbean.
Sagicor Sigma Corporate Run has donated approximately $200 million to health and child-related charities that provide support for Jamaica's most vulnerable citizens. In addition, Sagicor works closely with each charity to identify, acquire and commission vital equipment, and to devise a clear strategy for sustainability and keeping the equipment in good working order.
Race entry fees and donations go directly to the beneficiaries, while the cost of the race is underwritten by Sagicor Foundation, participating partners and sponsors.
The annual run will be held on Sunday, February 19, at 7:30 a.m. under the theme 'Run for the Fun, Donate for the Cause'. The patrons for this year's event are sprint star Yohan Blake; singer Tessanne Chin; and Father Richard Ho Lung, founder of Missionaries of the Poor, which operates the Bethlehem Home.
Registration for the 2017 staging of Sagicor Sigma Corporate Run is now open and will close on February 7.
The Sagicor Group has set out to raise $60 million from the race event and fundraising to contribute to three beneficiaries. This year's beneficiaries are children and babies in the Bethlehem Home, the Spanish Town Hospital's Paediatric Unit, and the Mandeville Hospital's Paediatric Unit.
Donations to support this year's beneficiaries can be made via pledge forms. Local donors may make cheques payable to Sagicor Foundation or Sigma Run 2016, and deposit them at any local branch of Sagicor Bank.
The company has also created several ways through which individuals locally and overseas can donate online, by visiting the Sagicor Group Jamaica's website - www.sagicorjamaica.com - and selecting the options to donate via Generosity.com and Paypal.
Additional fundraising efforts include the sale of race memorabilia and bracelets as well as official 2017 Sagicor Sigma Corporate Run T-shirts, which are available through the Sagicor Sigma Secretariat.
Richard Byles, Sagicor's president and CEO, challenged Jamaicans to donate and pledge funds towards Sagicor Sigma Corporate Run 2017.
"All the funds we need for these charities cannot be earned from the run event. We need everyone's support, whether you are a participant in the run or not. Several fundraising initiatives will take place, and I encourage you to support them," Byles said.
The Sagicor Sigma Corporate Run's success can be measured by its growth from 297 participants and $700,000 raised in 1999, to 26,000 entrants and $35 million raised in 2016. More than 52,000 persons have crossed the finish line with a well-deserved feeling of personal accomplishment and social goodwill.
Last year, the Sagicor Sigma Corporate Run earned $35 million from the race and cash donations, with approximately 24,000 walk, run and wheelchair racers.
Sponsors and partners include Reggae Marathon, the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation, Catherine's Peak, RJR Communications Group, Jamaica Observer, Emedia Interactive, National Baking Company, Signtex Limited, Flow, Lithographic Printers, ATL Automotive, Solid Agency, Whistling Frog, Starlight Productions, JP Tropical Foods, J Tyson Events & Catering Ltd, KOOL FM, KLAS ESPN, SunCity Radio, Phase Three Productions, Delta Airline, Pepsi-Cola Jamaica Ltd/Gatorade, Kaluga Gourmet, Desnoes and Geddes Foundation, Marksman, Spanish Court Hotel and Courtyard Marriot.