By Gerald V, Paul
When the University of the West Indies (UWI) holds its sixth-annual Toronto Benefit Gala on March 28 at the Ritz-Carlton in Toronto, it will recognize the generous contributions of lead sponsor Scotiabank.
The bank has donated annually over the past five years to this popular event, which has resulted in more than $750,000 raised – including Scotiabank’s annual contribution – so that approximately 200 scholarships have gone to Caribbean students in financial need.
The leading bank in the Caribbean, Scotiabank’s history there dates to 1889 when the first branch opened in Kingston, Jamaica, to serve the export trade.
“UWI is grateful to the contributions of Bruce Bowen and Scotiabank for assisting the university and its students for many years in achieving its goals,” Elizabeth Buchanan-Hind, executive director, UWI Institutional Advancement Division, told The Camera.
“The annual UWI Toronto Benefit Gala has not only contributed funds for students in need but has also raised the profile, in Canada, of the university and Scotiabank’s Caribbean Region,” said Buchanan-Hind, convenor of the UWI Toronto Benefit Gala.
Bruce Bowen, Scotiabank senior vice-president, Caribbean Region, has been the face and senior representative of the financial institution at the annual gala. Bowen has been involved in the bank’s Caribbean region since 2008 with a hands-on approach in many of the community initiatives and outreach across UWI’s three main campuses.
Bowen said Scotiabank has a close relationship with UWI and will continue to foster this partnership as there are many common elements in the mandates of development and growth of the region’s youth.
Buchanan-Hind noted Scotiabank reaches into most communities, supporting dozens of events and programs including education.
For over 175 years, Scotiabank has had a history of giving back to its communities in order to create better places to live and work, and helps students achieve their full potential by supporting universities across the Caribbean, Bowen said.