Saturday 31 October, 2020

No T-shirt sponsor slashes 2019 Breast Cancer funds raised at Walk

Close to 20,000 walk in the Barbados Walk for the Cure this year.

Close to 20,000 walk in the Barbados Walk for the Cure this year.

- by Daveny Ellis

Major sponsor Gildan has not cut ties with the Walk for the Cure annual event permanently.

The Walk for The Cure wrapped up its Charity end for 2019 but in the address of thanks during the Donation Ceremony, Dr Shirley Jhagroo made mention that one of the major challenges faced this year was that there was no longer a sponsor for T-Shirts for the walk.

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This offset the intended goal for the Barbados Cancer Society and has impacted their ability to put aside funds for the planned purchase of a mammogram machine.

Dr Jhagroo explained that the Programme has been "self-sufficient" as funds raised from the walk and donations go towards purchasing and maintaining equipment, and in subsidizing procedures such as biopsies, mammograms, and ultrasounds. But having to purchase T-Shirts at a total cost of $180 000 has affected the Breast Screening Program's profit and funding.

"Unfortunately, I am concerned that our vision for acquiring the 3D mammogram unit over the next few months will be a greater challenge than anticipated. However, moving forward the subcommittee can only hope that sponsorship of T-shirts will be more forthcoming. I have already started negotiations to make this a reality for 2020 and beyond," said Dr Jhagroo.

Michelle Straughn, Walk Manager for the Breast Screening Program explained that going forward they would like to see greater support for the walk from corporate Barbados:

"The response this year was good but we would like more sponsors to come on board as everyone should be behind this cause. And we definitely would like to get a t-shirt sponsor back on board to offset the cost towards purchasing necessary equipment."

However, today after yesterday's presentation, Loop reached out to the previous T-Shirt Sponsor, Gildan and Vice President of Human Resources, Esther Hackett was able to respond to the comments. Clarifying, she said the company had worked this year with The Barbados Cancer Society on The Below The Belt Cancers initiative, but they were "more than happy" to continue partnering with The Breast Screening Programme and would definitely be interested in working with them next year.

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