When the Sagicor Sigma Corporate Run gets underway on Sunday, February 17 approximately 20,000 runners, walkers and wheelchair participants will be contributing to the welfare of scores of children who are spending their lives in children's homes or receiving care in hospital.
All the proceeds of this hugely popular event, under the Patronage of Her Excellency the Most Honourable Lady Patricia Allen and Olympic Champion Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce, OD will assist the Bustamante Hospital for Children, Best Care Lodge and the Jamaica National Children's Home with much needed equipment and funding towards the enhancement of child care.
The Jamaica National Children's Home has a rich history of providing care and protection to hundreds of children. Director of the home Leroy Anderson says the facility is home to 76 children between the ages of six to 18 but he explained that several children after attaining age 18 are still unable to take care of themselves so many remain in the home post that age. Mr. Anderson explains that the home receives a subvention from the government, but given the harsh state of the country's economics, it is grossly inadequate. He notes that among the needs of the National Children's Home is a clinical counsellor, as a full or part time employee, who would be able to establish a rapport with the children, which is critical to their care. The Home operates a special needs school for mentally disabled children which is also used by the wider community, but Mr. Anderson says they also need a remedial programme to assist their children who attend public schools as many of them missed out on the rudiments of their early education because of their dislocations.
In reacting to the Home being a one of the Sigma charities this year, Mr. Anderson said "We are elated. We expect a significant spin off based on the sensitization of people to our needs; we expect more attention to the organization from the hundreds of participants in the Sigma Corporate Run. We want people to know what the Home does and what more we can do if we get even some of what we need. We can partner with all stakeholders to make all this come true for our precious children."
Sponsors for this year's Sagicor Sigma Corporate Run include the RJR Communications Group, Gleaner Company, Catherine's Peak, Pepsi, Digicel, eMedia Interactive, National Baking, King Alarm, Advertising and Marketing, Stewart Automotive Group, Nestle Jamaica, Wisynco and National Outdoor Advertising.
The Sagicor Sigma Corporate Run will be held at Emancipation Park on Sunday, February 17 beginning with a pre-race aerobic warm-up session at 6:45am.