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Axa XL to be End-to-End’s main sponsor

End-to-End: walkers hit Barnes Corner in last year’s event (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

The Bermuda End-to-End walk’s main sponsor is to be insurance and reinsurance giant Axa XL, it was announced yesterday.

The firm — formed by a merger between French Axa and Bermuda’s XL — has taken up the baton from XL, which previously sponsored the event under its XL Catlin brand name,

Anne Mello, chairwoman of the End-to-End Charitable Trust, said she was “delighted” that the combined company would continue to support the largest community fundraising event.

Ms Mello said: “Since the 2008 launch of our partnership, our combined efforts have enabled us to distribute more than $3 million in 103 grants to Bermuda charities.

“The vital support of a title sponsor like Axa XL enables our board to deliver an event of the highest standard with outstanding results.

“We acknowledge their corporate loyalty and acknowledge Team Axa XL’s contribution beyond financial support.

“The staff contributes time and team involvement as participants or volunteering at two water stops and a finish finale.”

The charity has donated more than $5.6 million to good causes since the walk, held at about the start of May, was launched 31 years ago.

Patrick Tannock, president of Axa XL’s charitable XL Foundation, said: “It gives us great pride and pleasure to be the title sponsors for more than a decade of this significant charitable event.

“The fact that this event originated as a challenge among a few friends in our insurance industry who walked from one end of the island to another and has grown to involve and benefit thousands throughout the community speaks to its incredible evolution and importance.”

Mr Tannock added: “With the commitment of Axa XL and many other supporters, there’s no doubt that the End-to-End will continue to grow from strength to strength.”

Ms Mello, who has spent 29 years working with the End-to-End charity, is to retire next year.

She was awarded a Queen’s Certificate and Badge of Honour in the 2011 New Year’s Honours List for her efforts,

Mandy Shaller, the board’s vice-chairwoman, said: “Anne’s exemplary leadership ... has resulted in a board which works as a well-oiled machine.

“Each board member knows their individual responsibilities for this charity event.

“Anne kept us on track towards our singular goal of raising money for local charities.”

Ms Shaller added that the charitable trust was on the hunt for a new head and appealed for anyone interested in taking over the job to come forward,

For more information, visit www.bermudaendtoend.bm and www.axa.com or contact Starla Williams, the End-to-End event manager at ete@logic.bm or 292-6995