Such is the growing support for road races islandwide that the Sagicor Sigma Corporate Run grew from 297 participants and $700,000 raised in 1999 to 26,000 entrants and $35 million last year. Others have also been showing growth by tapping into vibrant road running community. The CB Group UWI 5K held at the University of the West Indies, Mona, set a target of $20 million last year, but doubled that by reportedly garnering over $40 million. This year the organisers could be aiming to raise even more for charitable causes including; the UWI scholarship fund in educational and sports development. The GraceKennedy 5k: Education Run raised around $7 million for charities for communities in Downtown Kingston, West Kingston, Spanish Town and Majesty Gardens as well as Quarry Hill in St Catherine. The Digicel Imagine 5k Run, which will mark its sixth renewal, could raise over $15 million this year, having grown steadily with over 10,000 participants in 2015. The event, organised by the Digicel Foundation seeks funds for about 12 special needs beneficiaries. It is supported by over 20 corporate partners. Meanwhile, Running Events Limited, the chief organiser of road events locally reported road race events raised over $100,000,000 last year. Locally, the only road running event to significantly attract foreign participants is the Reggae Marathon 5K and Half Marathon, which draws in runners from at least 30 countries between the winter and thanksgiving period. It is held in Negril annually, and is seen as a strong local sports tourism product. Approximately $200 million could be raised this year, with about 20 major road races set to contribute much needed funds to local charities including schools, homes for the needy and public hospitals. Ingrid Card, vice-president of Group Marketing at Sagicor – organisers of the Sigma Corporate Run, which is targeting $60 million, says the full cost of the event is covered by her organisation, underlining that all funds raised will go to charity. “We will give the entire $60 million, as the need is great. For example, at the Bethlehem Home they had wheels, and a plastic chair as a wheelchair,” she told The Gleaner. “We need the support, and for people to support a worthy cause.” The beneficiaries of that event will be abandoned children and babies in the Bethlehem Home, operated by Missionaries of the Poor, the Spanish Town Hospital Paediatric Unit, and the Mandeville Hospital Paediatric Unit. SHOWING GROWTH
Among those who spoke at the event was Rabbi David Hoffman. Tears streamed down the faces of several Hillview students during the ceremony. The students’ study of Himelstaub’s life compelled them to become involved in the ceremony. “He’s become like family,” Hillview student Dulcie Adhiambo said. “His legacy was that he was going for his dream of going to fight Hitler, even though he didn’t really fulfill it. We just wanted everyone to know what really happened.” The ceremony concluded with a missing-man formation flyover used by the Royal Air Force to honor dead pilots. The flyover featured vintage Steerman and AT-6 planes. Antelope Valley military historian Bob Alvis said Himelstaub likely flew a Steerman, an aviation classic that features two stacked wings. “You never want to forget our fallen, and this was a nice gesture to show the English that we appreciate your fallen,” said Alvis, who helped organize the event. “The ghost of War Eagle Field is not a great legacy for a fallen cadet. … It’s kind of become a carnival sideshow,” Alvis said. “As far as honoring his legacy, this is what we want to remember.” email@example.com (661) 267-7802160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Himelstaub was buried at Lancaster cemetery three days after his death, thousands of miles away from family. Sheriff’s deputies and inmates at Mira Loma have reported inexplicable events over the years, fueling speculation that Himelstaub’s restless spirit was haunting the old War Eagle Field. On Friday, residents attempted to make peace with Himelstaub’s spirit, honoring the man’s life in a ceremony in which a new headstone was unveiled at his burial site. Several prominent civic and community leaders – including mayors from Lancaster and Palmdale, a representative from the British Commonwealth War Graves Commission and an eighth-grade Hillview Middle School history class instrumental in organizing the event – were among about 200 people who attended the ceremony. A War Graves Commission request that Himelstaub be given a new headstone provided the impetus for the ceremony. LANCASTER – Somewhere up there, Meyer Bernard Himelstaub must be smiling. The man entrenched in Antelope Valley lore as the “Ghost of Mira Loma” was given a proper funeral nearly 65 years to the day of his horrifying death. Himelstaub was a 22-year-old British Royal Air Force cadet assigned to the Antelope Valley’s War Eagle Field – now the site of Mira Loma county detention center on 60th Street West and Avenue I – when he was decapitated by a taxiing plane he accidentally walked into on Feb. 13, 1942. Himelstaub was a Jew who escaped Nazi-dominated Poland as a child. He was an aspiring military pilot who historians say was determined to fight the Nazis in World War II.