Firefighters will save the legs of competition winning students during Catlin End-to-End Walk
A group of Bermuda Fire and Rescue Service recruits has organised a special competition designed to promote the Catlin End-to-End Walk in May, and help raise money for local charities.
End-to-End walkers have raised almost $4 million since the walk from one end of the Island to the other or from the middle to the end of the Island began in 1988. Last year, the walk raised $335,000 for ten local charities. Funds raised in this year's event will go to Meals on Wheels, The Family Centre, WindReach, Friends of Hospice, the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Bermuda, Lady Cubitt Compassionate Association, Caron, the Bermuda Duke of Edinburgh Award, Raleigh International, Bermuda Sea Cadets and the Bermuda National Gallery.
To show their muscle, 14 Bermuda Fire and Rescue Service trainees and five instructors will carry eight Victor Scott Primary School students on a stretcher, along the 14.5-mile middle-to-end route on May 7. Of course, the recruits don't plan to carry all of the students at once.
“We haven't a stretcher big enough,” joked recruit Che Barker. “We are going to carry one student at a time in a relay. We will take one student to one point along the route and then change to another child.”
The recruits selected the eight students through a logo competition at Victor Scott. Students throughout the school were asked to draw a picture that depicted the Bermuda Fire and Rescue Service motto for the walk, ‘Walking Into Our Future'. One overall winner and seven finalists were selected. The overall winner was Primary Four student Rebecca Cowen. Her logo will be printed on T-shirts worn by the recruits on the day. The awards were handed out recently at a special assembly at the school.
“The competition was just open to Victor Scott Primary School at this time,” said Lieutenant Troy Furbert. “We had a short timeframe, so we selected Victor Scott because it was close to the station and it was in our community. Next year, we might expand it to other schools.”
Mr Barker said they saw some great entries. Between 50 and 100 students took part in the logo competition.
“You could see a lot of effort was put in by the kids and they really took it seriously,” he said. “When we did the awards presentation at Victor Scott you could see the anticipation amongst the students. The winners were ecstatic. Everyone was supportive. One teacher was practically in tears when the students were named as the winners.”
Recruit David Duperreault said the students' creativity and involvement was “pretty remarkable”.
“This is to show how much we care about the community,” said recruit Tristan Burchall. “This is our physical way of showing how much we care.”
Lieutenant Furbert said Victor Scott was now looking at ways to involve other students in the walk, such as by walking a portion of it.
“This is a good initiative and whenever we have taken it forward people have really welcomed it,” he said. “Our main goal is to raise money for the 11 charities and also to connect with the children and expose them to positive role models.”
Mr Barker added: “It is a matter of wanting to help and lifting the community.”
Online registration for the 2011 Catlin End-to-End started yesterday.
Students can sign up online or at their schools, but they must provide a signed waiver from their parent or guardian.
lUseful website: www.endtoend.bm