Co-founders, brand ambassadors and eminent personalities at the TrailSL 2016 closing ceremony Pic by Pradeep Pathirana
TrailSL 2016, the 28-day journey from North’s Point Pedro to South’s Dondra, to raise US $ 5 million towards building a new cancer facility at the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital in Galle, came to an end yesterday. Over 70,000 walkers from all walks of life, even visiting tourists to the island joining, have raised nearly US $ 3 million thus far and Rs.40 million in till collections alone on the road over the period
Trails’ aim has been to unite communities across the country whilst carrying the message of hope to those battling cancer or those who have lost a loved one to this terrible disease. Trail Co-founder Sarinda Unamboowe had pledged that if the civil war were to end, he would walk the length of his homeland as a commitment to peace and Co-founder Nathan Sivaganathan, who was touched by a personal loss to cancer, felt this walk was the most impactful way to help those battling this disease. “With TrailSL 2016, I’m confident that our dream of a state-of-the-art cancer hospital in Galle will soon be a reality,” Sivaganathan said. Trails 2016 owes its success in no small measure to its brand ambassadors and many other eminent personalities. The corporate donors have contributed to take the amount raised to beyond 58 percent of the target. “The contributions and participation by the people have been overwhelming. It makes us feel really good. This is the kind of support and awareness we envisioned to have for this initiative,” Colours of Courage Trust Director Mahela Jayawardena said. “We were completely overwhelmed by the spontaneous and warm support of the public along the way. They were the real brand ambassadors,” Kumar Sangakkara revealed.