Participants in the Accor Race to Survive Fiji for Cure Kids’ finished their five-day race around Fiji this weekend at Accor’s flagship Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa with an emotional run to the finish line surrounded by hundreds of school children cheering them on.
The final day saw the competitors who started the five-day event at Novotel Nadi on Monday travel the final leg of the race from the Coral Coast to Denarau Island via Sigatoka. On the way racers stopped at Sigatoka to complete a number of challenges organised by Sigatoka River Safaris, who donated their services to this charity event again, as they did for the previous Accor Cue Kids Charity race event held in 2012.
Event Director Murray Davison said, “We have been truly amazed at the generosity by so many Fiji companies who have donated both their products and services over the five-day event. With this support we can ensure the money raised by our competitors prior to and during the event goes to Cure Kids so they can continue their amazing work here in Fiji”.
At a celebration dinner last night at Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa, the total fundraising amount from this year’s event was announced at FJ$619,057. In a joint statement from Accor Senior Vice President Garth Simmons and Cure Kids CEO Vicki Lee: “We are incredibly proud of the partnership between Accor and Cure Kids. The Race To Survive events that Accor coordinates raise the much needed funds Cure Kids require to continue their work in providing a Rheumatic Heart Disease screening programme here in Fiji”.
Mr Simmons went on to say “During the past five-days I have been humbled by the way the Fijian community supports our events, and amazed at the commitment of our hotel staff to not only work tirelessly for months prior to the event to fundraise, but also the effort they put in during the event. They overcame many personal challenges with one goal – to make a difference to the children of Fiji”.
Accor’s Race To Survive event first started in 2006 and has since been held every two years, uniting Accor ambassadors and supporters from across the network, not least of all from New Zealand, Australia and Fiji. With this year’s event raising more than $600,000 it brings the total Accor Hotels in Fiji have raised for Cure Kids Fiji to almost two million dollars.
Cure Kids have used the funds raised by Accor staff in past years to purchase and maintain medical equipment for Lautoka, Nadi and Suva hospitals. In more recent times however, monies raised have funded a world leading Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD) screening programme. Nurses are trained and lead by Suva based Dr Joseph Kado and screen children around the country in a partnership with Cure Kids and the Ministry of Health.
During the Accor Race To Survive to Cure Kids Fiji event this year, children at Malolo District School on Malolo Island were screened. Sadly a number were found to be suffering from RHD, however the good news is they are now registered on a national treatment programme.
In summing up the five-day event, Mr Simmons said, “As long as we are needed to raise money for this much needed cause, the people of Fiji can be assured that Accor will continue to focus on raising the funds required, and we will continue to support Cure Kids to do the work they do. The motto for all Accor competitors is simple – It’s for the kids!”