NO-BRAINER! Platinum sponsors did not think twice to pump millions into Sagicor Sigma Run

February 17, 2024

Via Jamaica Observer

ChristopherZacca — president and chief executive officer of Sagicor Group Jamaica and chairman of Sagicor Foundation — on Monday expressed confidence that the 26th Sagicor Sigma Corporate Run, which is slated for Sunday, February 18, will meet the $100-million target which will be shared amongst two hospitals and one special needs institution.

“Our target is $100 million, by far the largest we have ever set for ourselves. We are doing well and I think we are very confident about that goal. One of the reasons I came to Sagicor is the Sigma [Run], because it truly touched my heart over the years in terms of what it did for health and education in Jamaica,” Zacca told reporters and editors at the latest
Jamaica Observer Monday Exchangeat the newspaper’s Beechwood Avenue headquarters in the Corporate Area.

Describing this year’s event as a “very special run”, Zacca said this is the organisation’s tribute to the late R Danny Williams, who was the founder of Life of Jamaica, which became Sagicor Jamaica, and a former chairman of the Sagicor Foundation, which sponsors the Sigma Run.

“The late Honourable Danny Williams is a giant in Jamaica and his life of philanthropy and giving back is unquestionably one of the biggest in Jamaica, so it is a deep honour for us to call this year’s Sigma Run the Sagicor Sigma Honour Run in honour of Danny Williams,” Zacca said.

This year’s beneficiaries of the proceeds from the run are the National Chest Hospital, the Danny Williams School for the Deaf, and the Savanna-la-Mar Public General Hospital.

Addressing the
Monday Exchange, Ben Rapp, founder and principal of Securys Limited — one of the run’s platinum sponsors — said the St Lucia-based data privacy and protection consultancy outfit, which is setting up offices in Jamaica, saw the partnership as a prime way to make its mark.

“We have had a tradition of putting money back into the ground and we have been working with customers in the Caribbean. We have made more and more of a footprint in the area. We took a view that since we were going to open a branch in the Caribbean this sounded like a way to do something that will have an immediate impact in Jamaica that will kind of cement our arrival as part of the Caribbean ecosystem,” Rapp stated.

The St Lucia-based entity will opened its first office in Jamaica on Tuesday and should be fully operational by June. Rapp said Securys had given “a little over $4 million” in cash as sponsorship to the 2024 Sigma Run.

In the meantime, Kadia Harris, senior brand manager – beverages at Grace Foods and Services Limited, which is the second platinum sponsor of the run, said the partnership was almost by reflex.

“Since the inception, these past 25 years Catherine’s Peak has been the official water sponsor and with GraceKennedy having Catherine’s Peak as a subsidiary this year is no different. What GraceKennedy stands for is to improve the lives of Jamaican people, so partnering with Sigma is a no-brainer at this point,” she said, noting that the total sponsorship in cash was “a little under $4 million”.

In the meantime, Zacca, on Monday, in noting that corporate Jamaica has “been very generous” to the charity, said the selection of the beneficiaries this year was fated.

“We have a process every year and it involves our team canvassing. We get a lot of requests, we do site visits. The Danny Williams School for the Deaf was a no-brainer and very much in need of support. In terms of the two hospitals, we worked with the National Health Fund to identify those hospitals that were not only in need — because I think every hospital is in need — but those hospitals that were ready to accept and implement a donation this year,” he told the forum.

Zacca said since the start of this charity road race, more than $650 million has been donated to numerous beneficiaries with a focus on health, child-related, and educational initiatives.

The Sigma Run is the largest road race in the Caribbean, 100 per cent of all monies from the run supports the beneficiaries which are named each year, while Sagicor provides the full funding to stage the event.