MAS Holdings Co-Founder and Director Ajay Amalean present the Platinum Sponsorship
MAS Holdings and the Royal College Union (RCU) pledged their support towards Trail 2016, which aims to raise $ 5 million to build a new cancer unit at the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital in Galle.
MAS Holdings pledged $100,000 to the cause, making them a Platinum Sponsor while RCU, celebrating its 125th anniversary this year, demonstrated its support by pledging to raise Rs. 50 million for the Children’s Ward at the hospital.
Trail was initiated by Nathan Sivagananathan and Sarinda Unamboowe, together with the Colours of Courage Trust, in order to bring the nation together in a fight against cancer. Founded in 2011, the first walk mapped the length of Sri Lanka, from Dondra Head to Point Pedro. The walk spanned 27 days and saw over 30,000 participants and 250,000 supporters raise over $ 2.6 million for the construction of the Tellippalai Trail Cancer Hospital which was declared open in January 2014.
Based on the success of their first campaign, the second edition of Trail will have the participants walk from the North to the South, over 28 days, in a bid to raise funds to build a new cancer unit at the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital in Galle. The walk kicks off from Point Pedro in Jaffna on 6 October.
Royal College Union pledges to raise Rs. 50 million to donate a children's ward
Speaking at a press conference held last week at MAS Innovations in Colombo, Trail Co-Founder Nathan Sivagananathan stated that infrastructure was a chief issue in Sri Lanka with around 125,000 cancer patients being treated in the Maharagama Cancer Hospital alone, while many of them come from the south and the north.
“When we opened the hospital in the north, we made a promise on stage to build a similar hospital in the south when the time was right. The Karapitiya Hospital is a very small hospital with a very dedicated staff and it the only one in the south that treats cancer patients. When we visited it, we saw patients sharing beds, so they really need the support,” he said.
Sivagananathan also thanked MAS Holdings and RCU for their generous pledges while stating Trail was deeply honoured by their commitment to the cause.
MAS Holdings Co-Founder and Director Ajay Amalean, who was also present at the press conference, stated that MAS Holdings had always supported cancer-related causes with their support of the Maharagama Cancer Hospital in the past and that MAS had no hesitation in supporting Trail.
Chairman of the RCU’s 125th anniversary celebrations Mahen Perera said that RCU was interested in conducting a walk for a children’s cause to celebrate their anniversary and when it heard of Trail’s cause, the link up was obvious. The RCU is hoping to fund the Children’s Ward of the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital while Perera added that they would like the ward to be named after the union.
Trail Co-Founder Sarinda Unamboowe, outlining the logistics of the walk, stated that the participants will kick off their walk each day around 5.30 a.m., travelling an average of 24km per day for 28 days. There will also be water stalls every 5km along the path with food stalls as well as medical support.
Brand Ambassador to Trail and Director of the Colours of Courage Trust Mahela Jayawardene stressed the importance of coming together as one nation for such a cause.
“We saw a lot of support from the south for the hospital in Jaffna and we are already getting a similar response from the people in the north for our new cause. The only choice in life we have is the level of humanity we display and if we choose wisely, the whole country can benefit,” he added.
Members of the public can donate to the cause via Dialog SMS, Star Points or eZ Cash or at the charity’s official website www.trailsl.com or make a direct deposit to Colours of Courage Trust Ltd. account number 003010491671, Hatton National Bank (SWIFT CODE – HBLILKLX). You can also keep up to date with the cause by visiting its Facebook page: facebook.com/TrailSL/ or follow them on Twitter: @TrailSL, Instagram: @trail_sl or Snapchat: @trailsl.
Pix by Lasantha Kumara