In what organizers described as one of the biggest turnouts for any local charity walk/run, more than 1,900 people took to the roads in the Cayman Islands Cancer Society’s annual Stride Against Cancer on Sunday.
The event, which is the Cancer Society’s main fundraiser, was held at four locations throughout all three islands and consisted of 10K run/walks, plus a half-marathon distance of 13.1 miles at the biggest gathering at Public Beach, Grand Cayman.
The other locations were Old Man Bay boat dock in North Side, Southern Cross Club, Little Cayman, and the Brac Reef Resort on Cayman Brac.
Jennifer Weber, the Cayman Islands Cancer Society’s operations manager, was delighted with the massive response this year, which is the 10th anniversary of the charity run/walk.
She said 1,600 “Stride” T-shirts were ordered, all of which were taken when people registered earlier in the week.
“The Cancer Society is very well supported by the community,” Ms. Weber said. “We do not receive any funding from the government. We’re completely funded by the goodness of the people in the public support.
“We’re grateful for the support, but we do need a lot of it because the amount of money we spend helping people is huge.”
She said the Cancer Society has more than 100 financially dependent patients on its books, whereas a few years ago there were only 11. Helping them amounts to $100,000 annually.
Last year, the Cancer Society built a $750,000 chemotherapy unit in addition to all the additional operational costs it was already committed to, including mammograms, various tests and screenings, as well as educational and prevention programs.
“It costs a lot of money ensuring we’re delivering the services that we intend to provide and we fulfill our charitable mission,” Ms. Weber said.
There was a School Stride as well, with kids donating $1 after completing a Stride event at their school.
“Everybody from little tiny kids right the way up to high school kids are doing something to turn out in their community and show their support,” Ms. Weber said.
She added that she was extremely grateful to the main sponsors, which included Foster’s, Progressive, Z99, Rooster, Maples, KRyS Global, CL Flowers and Sons, and the Cancer Treatment Centers of America.
More coverage on page 13.