Alessandro Boyd, Gleaner Writer
This Friday Alan Beckford will help raise awareness for the Angels of Love Jamaica (AOLJ) foundation as he embarks on a 147-mile ultra marathon from Negril to Kingston over the course of three days.
AOLJ is a non-profit organisation that was established in October 2009. It is dedicated to providing lifesaving treatment, health, education and support services to children with physical, mental or emotional troubles.
"I have been doing ultra marathons now for over four years," Beckford told The Gleaner. "In May 2008 I did my first one which was in Florida and that was 100 miles. I completed that in 27 hours."
Beckford had told Phillip Liu, founder of AOLJ, about his idea for the ultra marathon and out of that discussion came an initiative for raising publicity for the foundation.
"National Commercial Bank also came through my mind, so we decided to approach them with the idea of the project," Liu said.
Since getting onboard, the NCB Foundation has already donated $200,000 towards the run and AOLJ.
"The marathon itself speaks to discipline, training, vision and perseverance which are attributes that we at NCB cherish. As we celebrate 175 years of service in Jamaica and 50 years of Independence, we believe that this is a venture that is worthy of the support of a Jamaican company such as NCB," Julian Patrick, manager of sponsorships and promotions at NCB, told The Gleaner.
"AOLJ is Mr Liu's charity organisation of which their mandate is to assist needy children with treatment for cancer and other diseases. This is indeed admirable, noble and is aligned to the spirit of the NCB Foundation and as a result, we decided to come on board. It also helps that AOLJ is a registered and well-organised charity which is a feature that we encourage," Patrick added.
The run will begin at NCB in Negril and is estimated to finish at the NCB Atrium in New Kingston on Sunday at 10 a.m.