J$100 MILLION BOYS & GIRLS CHAMPS: Champs an investment in nation-building, says Wehby....Grace sponsorship in mega school athletics festival totals nearly $100 million

Thursday, March 03, 2016    
Don Wehby, group CEO at GraceKennedy Limited, might have presented a symbolic cheque valuing $54 million to Dr Walton Small, president of the Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA), at yesterday’s press launch of the 106th edition of the Boys’ and Girls’ Athletc Championships as its sponsorship share as title sponsors.
(From left) ISSA President Dr Walton Small, ISSA Boys’ and Girls’
Championship Committee chair Colleen Montague, and GraceKennedy
 Group CEO Don Wehby are all smiles as they share the burden of holding
 up the symbolic sponsorship cheque for $54 million at the press launch
 of ‘Champs’ 2016 at the Spanish Court’s Valencia Suite in Kingston yesterday.
But Wehby, a former St George’s College star athlete at the prestigious event, had earlier announced that his company’s overall sponsorship to the event had totalled approximately $100 million. “Yes, it’s a lot of money. But we don’t see it as an expense, it’s an investment in nation-building,” he said.
Wehby had noted that his company had been heavily involved in the lead-up to ‘Champs’ through the development meets, where Grace had been sharing tips with the athletes about proper nutrition as they prepare to go for gold and chase their dreams.
The group CEO advised that Grace Foods’ #ChaseYourDreams promotion had set up a Dream Fund, where they partner with the public to raise $5 million for three schools — one from each county — to share, to purchase equipment for their schools to enable them to better compete. The public’s support would come through the purchase of Grace products. “You can’t put a price on dreams. And we dare everyone, especially our young people, to dream big!” noted Wehby, who revealed that this year many of Grace’s subsidiaries are getting involved in the company’s ‘Champs’ activation.
“Our GraceKennedy Foundation is staying true to its mandate to help keep Jamaica clean and encourage recycling. You’ll see lots of blue recepticles around the stadium for you to place your plastic bottles.
“For our friends outside of Jamaica, Western Union will, for the third year, be giving customers outside Jamaica the chance to win a trip here to ‘See Champs Live!’
“Our bank, First Global (FGB), is expanding its involvement in this exciting event as well. FGB will have its mobile app portal which will share historical ‘Champs’ data, videos and stats. Plus, FGB will be launching its High School Affinity Card, which will allow FGB cardholders to choose to use their reward points to support their schools through their alumni associations.”
Wehby said that last year the GraceKennedy Group announced the signing of a landmark deal with ISSA that allows a joint venture company called Greenfield Media to manage the media rights to all of ISSA’s sporting events. more

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