GasanMamo Kayak for Cancer raises €10,500 for Puttinu’s UK apartments

Thursday, October 6, 2011, 9:27

The successful feat that saw Dorian Vassallo and Albert Gambina paddle in a sea kayak from Malta to Catania without assistance has raised €10,500 for the philanthropic organisation Puttinu Cares.  The funds will be directly allocated to Puttinu’s UK apartment project, where cancer patients and their families can be accommodated during gruelling periods of cancer treatment.  The endurance challenge was heavily supported by GasanMamo, Dorian Vassallo’s employer.

The Challenge undertaken in June saw four Maltese paddlers in an open-sea long distance marathon where they crossed the Malta Channel without the help of escort boats.  The distance of the crossing covered 135 nautical miles over three days with the participants paddling at an average speed of 3/3.5 knots.  The Challenge was initiated in 2008 as a way of generating funds for charity.  The two main paddlers were accompanied by experienced athletes Mark Bugeja and Michael Gellel, a team from Catania’s Circolo Canoa Catania made up of Francesco Landolina and Fabrizio Messina and a team from Rome made up of Gianni Montagner and Betty Bassanelli.

“It is very satisfying to see that the hard work and perseverance have paid off,” said Albert Gambina.  “The amount of paddle strokes we have made – not just during the crossing but also in training – run into their millions, but we would not have been able to accomplish this feat without the support of others.  We’d like to mention and thank not only our families and friends but also the constant and tangible support from GasanMamo and others too numerous to mention.”

Dorian Vassallo said:  “Every paddle and event has its own hardship and difficulties.  However, these do not compare with the hardship and difficulties which cancer patients and their families go through. Our reward is the knowledge that our event will help ease the difficult times these individuals will be experiencing.”

Dr Victor Calvagna, Chairman of Puttinu Cares expressed his gratitude for the initiative, for the personal commitment of the paddlers and for the collective effort to successfully raise the funds.  “Maltese patients deserve to find accommodation in a comfortable environment that helps ease the stress and anxiety of undergoing treatment abroad.  The GasanMamo Kayak for Cancer Challenge will contribute towards our aim of creating a home away from home for patients and the families who accompany them on this journey.”

Photo 7764 from left: Albert Gambina, Dorian J. Vassallo, Julian J. Mamo (Director, GasanMamo) and Dr Calvagna.

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