Twelve special needs schools and institutions recently received well-needed support through proceeds from the third annual Digicel Foundation 5K Run/Walk. Proceeds of J$6.9 million received from the 5K Run/Walk were officially distributed to 12 partners when the Foundation and the event sponsors visited their offices on Thursday, April 23 rd. In October 2014 the Digicel Foundation hosted the signature event which saw the involvement of 8,052 participants, a 10% increase from the previous year, making the annual 5K Run/Walk the fastest growing race of its kind in the island. For Adama Balgrove, Founder and Principal of the Montego Bay Autism Centre, the Digicel Foundation has answered her prayers. “We are so thankful. When we heard the news we were surprised as this came at a time where it is well needed,” Balgrove said. The Montego Bay Autism Centre is a first time recipient of the 5K Run/Walk and will be using the funds to furnish their new facility located at Appleton Hall in St. James. “Now our children can develop according in this great new facility,” she added. Another first time recipient Special Olympics Jamaica will be utilizing the funds for training ahead of the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles. “Nothing happens ahead of its time,” said Lorna Bell, Executive Director of Special Olympics Jamaica. “With 93 days to go to the Summer Games the funds will be used for stepping up training, towards the athlete’s nutrition and to beautifying the Special Olympics Court recently built by the Digicel Foundation.” Other recipients include: Jamaica Autism Support Association, Jamaica Association on Intellectual Disabilities, Jamaica Association for the Deaf, Jamaica Society for the Blind, Jamaica Down Syndrome Foundation, STEP Centre, Mustard Seed Communities Jacob’s Ladder, Early Stimulation Plus, Genesis Academy and Liberty Academy. “Digicel, through the Digicel Foundation is a committed partner to the special needs sector in Jamaica,” said Judine Hunter, Special Needs Programme Manager at the Digicel Foundation. “Giving back is part of our core values as we continue to provide capacity and training to the special needs sector. We know these partners will be impacting the lives of persons with special needs through these proceeds.” The 4 th annual 5K Run/Walk takes place in October2015 in Downtown, Kingston.