THE rebranded Sagicor Sigma Corporate Run will target a record 20,000 participants and $16 million for three charities for its 15th staging on February 17 in New Kingston.
The fundraising event, which started in 1999 and attracted 297 participants and raised $500,000, has identified the Bustamante Hospital for Children, Best Care Lodge and the Jamaica National Children's Home as beneficiaries this year.
At yesterday's launch at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, Sagicor also announced that Olympian Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has joined Her Excellency Lady Patricia Allen as Patrons of the event this year.
Lady Allen, an advocate for children and the elderly, works with youth in several state-run juvenile facilities and children's homes. One day each week, she visits the Bustamante Hospital and reads to them.
"Agreeing to be the patron for the Sagicor Sigma Corporate Run for the second year was a no brainer for me," she declared. "Last year, Sagicor not only raised money, but also invested it for the Bustamante Hospital for Children.
Meanwhile, two-time Olympic 100m champion and advocate for the poor, Fraser-Pryce, believes initiatives like these should be endorsed by all Jamaicans.
Though absent from yesterday's launch, Fraser-Pryce said: "There are not many events today that dedicate all proceeds to charity. I support the movement and hope that in the long run initiatives such as these will ensure that premium care is experienced by every child in Jamaica".
The event has grown significantly over the past 14 years, with 16,000 participants last year and $33 million raised for the Chain of Hope Jamaica in support of the Cardiac Unit at the Bustamante Hospital.
A number health and child-related charities have benefitted over the years, including the Cornwall Regional and the Victoria Jubilee hospitals.
Each year the entire proceeds are presented to the named beneficiaries and the Run has contributed over $102 million since its inception.
Registration closes on February 1, or when the organisers reach the 20,000 entry mark, but registration fees have increased with corporate (five to 75 entrants) being $60,000 and $800 for each additional entry; non-corporate groups at $800 per person with no T-shirt and individuals $1,000 with or without T-shirts.
The race route remains the same, excepting the start, which will be outside Sagicor's headquarters on Knutsford Boulevard, then turning left onto Trafalgar Road, on to Waterloo Road, left onto West Kings House Road, left onto Constant Spring Road, left onto Suthermere Road, continuing to Parish Place, then left onto Hope Road, right onto Winchester Road, right onto Ruthven Road, left onto Half Way Tree Road, then left onto Oxford Road ending at Emancipation Park.