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Jill Stewart immortalised in new logo for MoBay City Run

Members of the organising team for the Jill Stewart MoBay City Run during their rebranding exercise on Friday night. From left: Conroy Thompson, Emerson Whittley, Ashley Anguin, Nicola Thomas, Janet Silvera, Dr Luz Longsworth, Richard Deenah, Tracy-Ann Patterson, Dr Sherridene Lee, and Arancxa Harvey.

MONTEGO BAY, St James — Following on the move to rename the MoBay City Run in honour of philanthropist Jill Stewart, the organisers have gone a step further by incorporating her initials in the event’s new logo.

At Friday evening’s rebranding launch at S Hotel in Montego Bay, it was revealed that the letters ‘J’ and ‘S’ have been intricately placed in the new logo that at a first look showcases an ‘M’ shape, which was also deliberately done to depict the city of Montego Bay.

Chief organiser Janet Silvera told the Jamaica Observer that Stewart’s influence will significantly contribute to their objectives with this race going forward and that is why this rebranding meant so much.

“It’s about her legacy, and I just want to praise the designers for what they were able to do with the new logo,” she told the Sunday Observer.

“Jill was vibrant, an avid runner, she loved life. She loved running and she loved Montego Bay. For someone who was not even born in Jamaica to come and to adopt our city, our country as her own the way she did, the least we could do, having her giving us the kind of support she did, was to name the race in her honour and we now have immortalised that legacy with her initials in the logo,” Silvera said.

Jill Stewart, the wife of Jamaica Observer and Sandals Resorts Executive Chairman Adam Stewart, passed last year after a brave battle with cancer but had already left a legacy as a major contributor to the event in which she was also an active participant, winning a number of times.

The event is slated to be held on Sunday, May 5 and its proceeds will be donated to students in St James who need help to continue their education.

Silvera said that the impact of the rebranding should contribute significantly to that.

“If we can donate to education at least $10 million a year, then we would have done our job, and we feel that rebranding, renaming to Jill Stewart will get us to that stage,” Silvera said.

She said that there will be merchandising opportunities from the event as part of the push to raise funds, as the new logo will be emblazoned on bracelets, shirts, and other items starting next year.

Silvera also said that the new logo, designed by local firm Toutbrag, depicts the run and the route in a variety of colours.

Stewart’s legacy will also be felt through the benevolence of her daughter, as Silvera revealed that the young Stewart has been working to contribute to student participation in the event going forward.

“Her daughter is already making ‘Jillybeans’ that she is using to purchase running shoes for students who don’t have,” Silvera explained.

Pointing to Stewart’s sphere of influence, Silvera said, “We also believe that Jill’s name will help us in more ways than one; we believe that people will come from overseas because she wanted a marathon. People will come from overseas to run long distance, and so in the future we want to do that.”

Silvera said that the run has become an important part of the Montego Bay tapestry and has so far dispersed $26.5 million to students over the eight stagings.

“We want everybody to know that this is the city we are running for. We are trying to showcase the best of Montego Bay through this run and we want to show as well that there are good people in this city and that the city has immense potential as it relates to the various industries… we can help to continue to sustain this human capital that is needed for the tourism industry, BPO [business process outsourcing] sector, all the various industries that are here,” she said.