FRIDAY, MAR. 9: Times are tough but this is only bringing out the best in Bermudian community spirit, according to the results of a charity fundraiser.
This year’s Argus Walks the Walk 5K attracted a record-breaking 1,061 entrants.
The fundraiser, organized by the Argus Group in partnership with The Centre on Philanthropy, raised almost $30,000 for 95 local charities.
Walkers could choose which organization they wanted their entry fee to go to, with the event raising $28,736 for good causes.
The 10 charities which generated the most support were: Warwick Academy Foundation; Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc Bermuda Alumnae Chapter; PALS; WindReach Bermuda; Bermuda Gymnastics Association; Raleigh International Bermuda; Bermuda Volleyball Association; Tomorrow’s Voices — Bermuda Autism Early Intervention Centre; Bermuda Scout Association; and the Ocean Support Foundation.
On the February 26 walk itself however, T-shirts, banners and placards displayed support for a variety of local causes ranging from animal protection and the environment, to arts and culture, substance abuse support, seniors, sports and family services.
In addition to the donation to each walker’s chosen charity, $5 from their entry fee went to The Centre on Philanthropy’s website, www.volunteer.bm.
A total $5,305 was raised for the website which enables islanders to search for charitable activities which best suit their interests and availability.
There are more than 130 organizations which regularly use the site to recruit and manage volunteers.
Commenting on the walk, Pamela Barit Nolan, executive director of The Centre on Philanthropy, said: “We are thrilled that this community walk has been embraced by non-profits and their supporters.
“This year’s event attracted over 50 per cent more walkers — a good indication that this is a welcome addition to the community’s annual calendar.
“The Centre, in an effort to assist our smaller non-profits, held a special ‘Lunch and Learn’ that provided tips to organisations on how to maximise benefits from Walk the Walk, including mobilizing staff, board members, volunteers and donors to participate and raise funds and awareness.
“We are grateful to Argus for their sponsorship of this event and to each walker that participated and showed their support both to their chosen organization and the community as a whole.”
Gerald Simons, Argus Group president, said: “We are really pleased that the Argus Walks the Walk with The Centre on Philanthropy Charity 5K is fast becoming one of the most popular fundraising walks in Bermuda.
“The concept of letting individual walkers decide which charity to support is a strong one; it means that some of the lesser known and smaller charities can benefit without having to cover the overheads of organizing their own fundraising event.
“Argus is delighted to have helped to support so many local charities again this year.”
A spokesman for charity Raleigh International Bermuda said: “This year’s Argus Walks the Walk experience was great for Raleigh Bermuda — we went from a total of 12 walkers last year to 42 walkers this year.
“We would like to thank all who supported us.”
A spokesman for the Bermuda Gymnastics Association added: “When we arrived at the event on Sunday, it was a welcome surprise to see how many people had signed up in support of the BGA.
“The walk itself was a great experience for our athletes to get together outside of practice and have a good time.”
The Chewstick Foundation said: “The benefit of Argus Walks the Walk is tremendous and far beyond any financial reward, although it is nice to receive donations from the event as well.”
After the charity walk prizes were presented to key supporters.
Deloitte received the award for the largest corporate team to take part, with 45 walkers.
Warwick Academy, celebrating its 350th anniversary this year, won an award for the largest youth team, with 66 participants.
The Reading Clinic was recognized as the team with the ‘Most Spirit’.
The marshalled walk started and finished in Wesley Street, Hamilton — home of both the Argus Group and The Centre on Philanthropy.
You can see photos of the walk at The Centre on Philanthropy’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/thecentreonphilanthropy.