TORONTO — Nothing can replace a gloriously sunny, warm fall weekend that makes you feel like summer is still in the air. And that’s especially true after close to seven months of COVID doldrums (and counting).
The pandemic has completely upended normal life but we’re still dreaming of the future – and brighter days ahead.
These days everyday life has taken a virtual turn including work, school, music concerts and even running races, to name just a few.
So, when the invitation arrived to dust off the sneakers and join the Jamaica Tourist Board team in Toronto for a NON-VIRTUAL Jam-Walk in support of the Helping Hands Jamaica Foundation – yes, an actual walk outside with industry friends and colleagues – there was no hesitation to accept. In fact it was a welcome distraction!
The Helping Hands Jamaica Foundation, described as a “little boutique charity that does a great job,” by founder and former Jamaica tennis pro, Karl Hale, raised more than $37,000 with its 11th annual fundraiser walk this past weekend, on Saturday, Sept. 26.
This year, despite COVID, the organization completed a school in the Jamaican parish of St. Mary with plans in the new year to build again with a new project in Port Antonio.
To date the foundation has raised more than $2 million for education in Jamaica and is responsible for the construction of 22 schools on the island.
The Jamaica Tourist Board took an honorary role as presenting sponsor this year, with Angella Bennett, the JTB’s Regional Director, Canada, sharing a few words and chuckles before the walk got underway. “I love to walk although my knees don’t,” said Bennett with a smile.
Bennett added: “This is an organization to hit the mark and really, truly are giving back an educational experience to Jamaica, to the Jamaica community, and its children. This is the best gift you can ever give to a country and its people. I applaud the committee and the board.”
The 5km route included a picturesque waterfront stroll from Toronto’s Palais Royale along the boardwalk to the Palace Pier Park Bridge (also known as the Humber Bay Arch Bridge) and back. All participants enjoyed a post-race boxed breakfast-to-go, and especially the opportunity to stay on and socialize with new and old friends.
It was heartwarming to see everyone rally for a great cause during these challenging days. Thank you to our friends at JTB, Angella and Judy, for a delightful and empowering morning.
For more details about the Helping Hands Jamaica Foundation check out https://www.