As a philanthropic community, Bermuda is abundant in creative fund-raising initiatives that address a wide range of important causes. One such long-standing event is the XL Catlin End-to-End, a hugely popular annual occurrence that will be celebrating its 30th year on May 6th. On this day, approximately 3,000 people will take to Bermuda’s streets and trails to traverse the length of the island in various capacities, helping to raise money for four separate charities while sharing a fun experience with friends and family. Given this important milestone, we interviewed End-to-End board chair Anne Mello for her reflections on the event in the context of its 30th anniversary.
Noting that the initial event in 1988 attracted only 186 walkers and raised $43,200, Mello expands on just how much the End-to-End has grown since then. “In 2017, we expect to welcome over 3,000 participants into the Dockyard finish line, and to distribute over $250k in charitable grants, reaching a 30-year total of nearly 200 grants of over $5.5 million,” she says. This year, the beneficiary charities are Age Concern, the Adult Education School, Greenrock and Raleigh, reflecting the organisers’ commitment to distributing funds raised in a way that benefit multiple facets of the community. “Each year we invite applications from all non-sectarian Bermuda charities for projects, programmes and/or operating expenses for the support and strengthening of our Bermuda families.”
Participants can choose to walk, cycle, swim, row or paddleboard on the day of the event, and this year, a special “30 Years of Fun-Raising” element is being added to commemorate the anniversary. Essentially a People’s Choice grant, this initiative will see End-to-End participants vote for one of four short-listed charities to receive $30,000. There will also be unique opportunities for community partnerships, special offers from local retailers and exclusive End-to-End branded products.
On how organisers have managed to keep the event relevant after 30 years, Mello explains what helps the End-to-End stand out. “In spite of the increasingly crowded spring landscape, the XL Catlin ETE stands apart and is still seen as a rite of spring—a fixture on the Bermuda calendar,” she states. “We’ve got the magical combination of an achievable physical challenge coupled with the feel-good fund-raising for a better community.” Since the event is open to people of all levels of physical activity, the broad mix of participants, volunteers, spectators, participating charity staff members, board members and the community at large shows that people from all walks of life are willing to come together and have fun for a great cause.
To learn more about how you can take part, please visit www.bermudaendtoend.com or call 292-6992.