The Heart Foundation of Jamaica says the $164,876 raised through the initiative of two students at Hillel High School on the fundraising portal of the 2021 Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K is timely and will go a far way to assist with the maintenance of the foundation’s island wide mobile heart screening programme.
A symbolic cheque for the amount was handed over on Tuesday, March 15, to Deborah Chen, executive director of the Heart Foundation Jamaica by the fundraising students Abigail and Cormac Corrigan of Hillel High School, accompanied by Diane Ellis, director of sponsorship for Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K.
“We are very appreciative of the donation raised by the students for the Heart Foundation. Unfortunately, heart disease is the leading cause of death in Jamaica and high blood pressure is one of the leading risk factors. So with 30% of Jamaicans being hypertensive, accessibility to screening helps to detect this and other risk factors,” said Mrs. Chen.
According to Mr. Alfred ‘Frano’ Francis, race director of the Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K, more funds were raised last year than in previous years for Reggae Marathon’s charity partner, the Heart Foundation of Jamaica. For the 2021 virtual event, marathoners worldwide also donated funds to the foundation, via the event’s fundraising portal.
Mr. Francis said the 2021 virtual event facilitated the most amount of charity funds raised in the 21 years of staging. The Reggae Runnerz, from the USA, which has brought hundreds of runners to the Negril-based event each year, donated over US$27,000 to other local charities, including the Green Island High School.
Mr. Francis said with the date of this year’s Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K set for December 4, runners and walkers across the world have expressed their anticipation to return to Negril
The race director welcomed the lifting of the Covid restrictions, as his team continues planning for a hybrid marathon, with both in-person races and virtual participation.