On 8th May 2017 Deloitte and MH Bland presented a cheque to Giovi Vinales of Cancer Research for a total amount of £6,247.90 which was raised during their 2017 Walk to the Top of the Rock held on Saturday 22ndApril. Both companies would like to thank not only the 300+ participants on the day but also all the many companies and individuals for their support and generosity, including Anglo Hispano, Stagnetto, Oxy, Caterpac, Made in Heaven, Angelique Photography, Shyanne Azzopardi, John Azzopardi, Dylan Sheriff, Music Corner, Monique Sanchez, DB Sound & Lighting, St John’s Ambulance, GBC and the RGP to name but a few. MH Bland and Deloitte look forward to holding the event again in 2019.
Despite the various obstacles which presented themselves during the several months of planning; first the change of start time due to a parade down Main Street, then the severe weather warnings and finally the closure of the Nature Reserve on the eve of the event, the organisers, MH Bland and Deloitte, held their breath as they waited for the decision from the Department of Environment whether to reopen the Nature Reserve or not. At 8.30am the call was received and the 2017 Walk to the Top of the Rock was good to go!
Participants slowly gathered, in the Piazza as from 9am, all ready to go in their official t-shirts. Rocky, the Cable Car mascot, was kept busy with selfies whilst Cancer Research balloons were handed out to the children (Helium kindly donated by Oxy Ltd). By 10am Shyanne Azzopardi was getting everyone warmed up with an energetic Zumba class. At 10.15am the group photo was taken and the approximately 300 strong walkers set off up Main Street towards the Cable Car top station. From the Piazza to The Convent everyone walked together behind the official banner which served as a reminder as to why the walk was taking place. Since 2005 the Walk has been held in aid of Cancer Research, and more recently also Stick it to Sarcoma; in memory of Joey Gabay, in a hope that one day a cure or at least an improvement to cancer treatments will be found to alleviate the suffering of so many families who are unfortunately affected by Cancer. Joey’s wife, Alison Gabay is currently training to climb Mt Kilimanjaro in June to also raise money for the cause.
The atmosphere on the day was extremely positive with everyone smiling and cheering each other on as they headed up the Rock. The Walk has always been a fun family day out and this year again saw people of all ages taking part. Valiant parents pushed prams and carried children on their shoulders whilst the older generation showed their determination not to be left behind. Chris Wood and Shilpi Chotrani made an early break and managed to stay ahead of the pack reaching the top in an impressive 30 minutes! Chris is one of the members of Team Calpe, who are in training for their mammoth two-week cycle, setting off from Calpe House, London on the 2nd June and arriving in Gibraltar on the 17th June.
A team from St John’s Ambulance made themselves available to support the event, however thankfully they were not called into action. Everyone was supplied with water kindly donated by Anglo Hispano who have been loyal supporters of the event since 2005. At the top, the Cable Car staff and Rocky were there to cheer everyone as they crossed the finish line. It was then into the Mons Calpe Suite where the top station team had prepared a light brunch and some refreshments generously donated by Stagnetto’s. While the walkers recovered enjoying a bite to eat including some healthy fruit options donated by Gib Maroc, Monique Sanchez was offering children face painting. Various prizes were then handed out by Giovi Viñales from Cancer Research to the winners of the raffle as well as awards for the walker categories. Chris and Shilpi for being the first male and female participants to reach the top while Evie Hinnigan and Jake Berini were the first under 12 years and Di Lazenbury and Graham Smith were the first over 60s. Photographs taken on the day can be viewed on the event Face Book page Top of the Rock Walk. Photos tagged with #TopRockWalk will also be added.
The winners of the raffle were as follows:
1st Prize – Adrian Rodriguez
2nd Prize – Jeremy Martinez
3rd Prize – Analise Debono
4th Prize – Gabby Garner
5th Prize – Liz Hunter