OVER 4,000 people came out to take part in the 2019 RBC Race for the Kids on October 6. This year’s event raised more than $782,000, all of which will go towards the RBC Caribbean Children’s Cancer Fund, which supports paediatric cancer diagnosis and treatment in the Caribbean.
The event began with a 15K race at 5.45 am followed by a fun run 5K, which started at 6.30 am. President Paula-Mae Weekes sounded the horn to start the 5K race, after greeting students of her “Citizen True” group.
“It was a pleasure to have Her Excellency with us again this year,” said Darryl White, CEO, RBC Financial (Caribbean) Ltd. “She came to send off the students of her Citizen True programme, which is an initiative to help build civic-mindedness among some of our nation’s youth.”
With representation from 15 school teams, there were over 1,200 students registered for this year’s race, with St Joseph’s Convent in Port of Spain and Fatima College being recognised for their efforts.
RBC’s Race for the Kids has been growing in popularity and this year attracted multiple corporate teams and participation from several NGOs. Also lending support was Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh.
Participants signed up for a 5K and 15K experience and they were met with a whole lot more. There was music, food, giveaways, face painting, “bouncy castles” and live entertainment from local soca artiste Akeem "Preedy" Chance.
“This year’s race was truly heart-warming,” said Gretchen Camacho-Mohammed, managing director, RBC Royal Bank. “The turnout has been fantastic and I am moved by the beauty of selflessness and fellowship that I have witnessed. Helping others is what this is all about and I am proud to be part of an organisation and nation that stands true to this cause.”
Camacho-Mohammed explained that Race for the Kids is an RBC family friendly event that happens each year with the aim of making a difference in the lives of children under the age of 16 who have been diagnosed with cancer. She shared that the funds from earlier races were used to donate a flow cytometer valued at $2.5 million to the Eric Williams Medical Complex earlier this year.
This equipment facilitates the early diagnosis of cancer, which allows for treatment to begin earlier. RBC works with the TT Cancer Society to identify children in need of help and fund additional testing, care and treatment for them.
“I am extremely proud of Team RBC for all their support in making this event a success,” said Camacho-Mohammed. “RFTK is centred on the spirit of volunteerism and camaraderie and as such it encourages employee participation. In addition to raising funds on their own, some employees volunteered their time to help today while others participated with friends and families.”
Camacho-Mohammed commended over 15 corporate sponsors who helped make this year’s event a success and also thanked registrants for their support and commitment.
“Together we are making a difference in the communities we serve,” she said.