June 20, 2006 – Tug-of-war teams from Innovative Communications Corporation and the V.I. Water and Power Authority will face off again this year to benefit the St. Thomas American Cancer Society's Relay for Life fund-raiser on June 24 and 25.
"It's great fun and a wonderful way for our employees to contribute even more to this worthy cause," said WAPA Executive Director Alberto Bruno-Vega. Though the challenge between the two companies ended in a draw last year, Bruno-Vega is sending a new challenge to Innovative Telephone President and Chief Executive Officer David L. Sharp. "Mr. Sharp, make sure you communicate clearly to your teams that WAPA has the energy and the power to win!" Bruno-Vega cautioned.
Each company has pledged $500. The winning company's pledge will be paid by the opposing team.
"It is not our intention to boast, but at Innovative you can feel the energy this event brings, and the buzz around the business center is that we are going to win this year's competition hands down," Sharp said. Sharp is leading seven teams that signed up to participate from the various Innovative companies.
"The relay is our fund-raiser," says Candia Petersen, local ACS chapter president, "it keeps us going." Last year the event raised almost $300,000 – its best take ever. The overnight event benefits cancer research, helps to promote advocacy and assists in funding outreach programs for those diagnosed with cancer.
Cancer screenings are a big part of the society's task, and one Petersen is proud of. The ACS pays for cancer screening for breast and prostate cancer. She said screenings are done at the Department of Health and the Schneider Medical Center radiology lab. "Last year we did about 100 or so screenings for people who have no insurance." She says, "Getting it caught early is the key."
The tug-of-war challenge has been a huge success over the past several years. Innovative and WAPA will have three teams of six members ably captained by their chief executives. The company with the best two-out-of-three rounds wins the challenge.
"All of us at Innovative Telephone eagerly look forward to winning this time around, not just for the sake of the competition, but in the name of the company's employees and family members who are fighting this devastating disease," Sharp said.
"Cancer, directly or indirectly, touches pretty much everyone in some way," said Bruno-Vega. "We are very proud to join hands and participate in this important local celebration of life, which is similar to events taking place simultaneously in 3,800 communities around the globe."
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