14-Member Commonwealth Bank Teams Up for Ride for Hope, Adds Pedal Power to the Fight Against Cancer
By day, they don the blue and gold Commonwealth Bank uniform, ready to serve a large customer base, but on March 10, they pulled on cycling gear, took deep breaths, hopped on bikes and set out on a course to serve a greater cause – the fight against cancer.
They were the 14 members of the Commonwealth Bank cycling troupe who descended on Eleuthera to take part in the 11th annual Ride for Hope. Together, they pedaled 600 miles and the smiles on their faces told of their commitment to the island chain that is home to their newest branch and to the war on cancer.
“Cancer has touched the life of nearly every Bahamian family,” said team member and Sr. Internal Audit Manager Lavado Butler, who lost his mother to the disease. “Like others on the team, I was proud to cycle for this important cause. While I thought of how bravely my mother battled, I knew the entire Commonwealth Bank team shared the goal to raise awareness and funds for the prevention, education and treatment of this terrible disease.”
In 2015, Commonwealth Bank pledged $500,000 over a 10-year period to assist with the care and treatment of cancer patients through the Cancer Caring Centre, and to increase education and awareness of the effort to prevent cancer fatalities. Education, say experts, is already making a huge difference with more people diagnosed with breast and prostate cancer surviving as opposed to dying from the disease.
“Our team was the largest we have ever fielded for Ride for Hope and we are so proud of every member,” said Ian Jennings, President. “The wind and the weather were a challenge but our Commonwealth Bank stars persevered, proving the same teamwork and dedication they exhibit at work could fuel them to success for a worthy cause. Their participation in the Ride for Hope was a natural outgrowth of our dual commitment to the island of Eleuthera, which has welcomed us with open arms, and to those who are doing so much to win the battle against cancer.”
Organized by sister and brother Susan Holowesko Larson and Stephen Holowesko, Ride for Hope has raised nearly $3 million since it was first staged in 2006. This year, some 150 riders, each of whom had to raise at least $500 in sponsorship funds, participated with the largest number ever completing the 100-mile course in Eleuthera. Commonwealth Bank riders included Deanza Brennen, Lavado Butler, Deitra Delancy, Shameka Dorsett, Carrington Johnson, Juliet Johnson, Jermaine Jones, Kenny Mackey, LaToya Smith, Sheena Adderley, Desiree Bain, Osvon Pratt, Jude Hart and D’Adra Smith.
Commonwealth Bank operates 12 full service branches on four islands and employs more than 550 persons.