While the young sailors on board Team Alvimedica are racing around the world in the Volvo Ocean Race, they are leaving in their wake significant donations to a children’s heart health charity at each of the 10 stopover ports.
The team and its owner, medical devices company Alvimedica, have unveiled an ambitious World Heart Health Charity Tour, a global initiative to raise funds and awareness for heart health.
The team raises the funds through an online auction on the team’s website (watch the World Heart Health Charity video here) where bids can be made on two separate once-in-a lifetime experiences on board with Team Alvimedica at each of the race’s 10 stopover ports.
Team Alvimedica has raised close to $40,000 since the start of the global race in Alicante, Spain (Menudos Corazones), and at the three following stopovers in Cape Town (Paedriatric Cardiac Society of South Africa), Abu Dhabi (Zayed Giving Initiative) and Sanya, China (Chinese Agape Foundation).
Today the team is announcing the complete roster of charity recipients including the charity partners in the upcoming New Zealand stopover in Auckland and the team’s home port of Newport, Rhode Island, the race’s only USA stopover (May 5-17).
In the United States, February is designated as American Heart Month providing the ideal timing for Newport’s home team to formalize the global initiative.
“Following successful initiatives at the first four stops of this international race, we are pleased to now formally confirm our charity partners for the remaining six stopovers around the world,” said Dr. Cem Bozkurt, CEO of Alvimedica, the global maker of minimally-invasive medical devices.
“Today we are proud to announce our charity partners in the World Heart Health Charity Tour.”
Auckland: Heart Kids and Starship Foundation, New Zealand
Newport: Lifespan of Providence, Rhode Island
Lisbon: Associacão Coragem (Courage Association)
Gothenburg: Hjart-Lungfonden.se (Swedish Heart-Lung Foundation)
The team’s American skipper Charlie Enright, 30, of Bristol, RI, has visited children recovering from heart disease at each stopover of the race to date.
Congenital heart disease is the most common birth defect and affects at least one in every 100 children with between 20-40 percent of children affected needing surgery. Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of American women and men.
He said: “Team Alvimedica gives us an opportunity to touch a number of local communities and it's great for us to be able to give back everywhere we go.
“The World Heart Health Charity Tour initiative gives us a more global perspective to appreciate what else is going on in the world as we are sailing around it.”
*Image credits: Volvo Ocean Race/Gilles Martin-Raget/Juerg Kaufmann