Huge Turnout for ANCOP Walk 2015 in Toronto!
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
As early as six on a sunny and bright Saturday morning of August 15th 2015, volunteers and walkers started gathering at the David Pecaut Square in downtown Toronto – venue for this year’s ANCOP Walk. It was no coincidence that the walk was on the same day as the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, patroness for work with the poor. A mass at St. Patrick’s Church located near the venue preceded the walk.
The walkers, in their bright green shirts, assembled in front of the square for the start of the program at 9am. “God loves the poor!”declared by ANCOP Canada International president Ricky Cuenca in his opening remarks. Ricky told the crowd that the Toronto Walk is one of the series of ANCOP Walks being held in 15 locations across Canada this month of August.
The morning program started with the singing of the Canadian anthem by Ariana Cuvin, and the Philippine Anthem by Angelo Velarde and Renee Quiros children duo. Performers from KFC’s dynamite Kids and CFC-Youth took turns in rallying the participants prior to the start of the walk. ANCOP ambassadress Josie De Leon rendered the beautiful song “One”. Joey Abrenilla emceed the program assisted by Bernie Quiros and Veron Caleon. A Scotia Bank representative and Rosemer Enverga of PCCF took to the stage to present their donation cheques to Ricky Cuenca.
The gathering was made special by the presence of dignitaries led by Member of Parliament and Finance Minister Joe Oliver, Senator Tobias Enverga, and Consul General Rosalita Prospero. Minister Oliver has been a constant supporter of the ANCOP Walk since its early beginning even prior to his being elected in the Parliament. In his speech he thanked the Filipinos for their great contribution in building up Canada, and for their relentless commitment in helping the needy. Senator Enverga, who has been present in every ANCOP Walk even before he was appointed to the Senate, reiterated his continuous support for ANCOP and vowed to continue promoting the program to the best of his ability. ConGen Prospero commended all the participants for their effort in coming to the aid of those in need particularly in the Philippines. She also cited the huge contribution of Filipino-Canadians in the global rehabilitation efforts for the victims of super typhoon Haiyan in 2013.
The official walk started just past 10 am with the ati-atihan band and dance group leading the way followed by members of ANCOP Executive Committee and Couple For Christ (CFC) leaders. Other groups followed with their respective chants, signs and slogans. Participating groups included the various CFC ministries (Handmaids of the Lord (HOLD), SFC, etc.), partners and sponsors of the ANCOP Walk including the Philippine Canadian Charitable Foundation (PCCF); Bukas Loob sa Diyos (BLD), LBC, and PNB Remittance.
Although the day started with a light rain, the sun was up as soon as the program began and as the walk navigated its way around the streets of downtown Toronto from Wellington, Spadina, Queen, Simcoe, ending back at the square.
The program featured more entertainment followed by a raffle of prizes and gifts courtesy of this year’s major sponsors: LBC Cargo, FV Foods, GMA Kapuso and many others. Trophy Foods Inc and Cott Beverage donated drinks, sample products and a gift basket. ANCOP International Canada’s Marketing Director Gabby Consulta gave the closing remarks encouraging everyone to participate in next year’s ANCOP Walk.
The target of this year’s ANCOP Walk in Canada is to raise $1 million for ANCOP’s shelter and child sponsorship programs. 2015 marks the 12th year of the walk in support of the Global Walk held in Manila and other cities and provinces in the Philippines. Various countries are likewise participating including the US, United Kingdom, Australia; and other countries in Europe, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Africa. Aside from raising much needed funds, ANCOP Walk also aims to establish advocacy and awareness of the plight of the poor. As of 2015 ANCOP Canada has already initiated child sponsorship in India and in African countries: Ghana, Nigeria, and Kenya.
ANCOP International Canada is truly grateful to all volunteers and participants who helped make this year’s ANCOP Walk a huge success. This year’s overall event coordinators are Dan and Leni Gutierrez of Toronto.
By Rico Tingin for ANCOP Canada
For the schedule and location of ANCOP Walk in other locations across Canada please visit http://walk.ancopcanada.org.
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