NY-based charity awards scholarships to local institutions

Thursday, June 28, 2007

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The Children of Jamaica Outreach (COJO), a New York-based Jamaican charity, has this year awarded four scholarships to local institutions - two each to the Alpha Boys' Home and the City of Refuge Home.

A three-member delegation from the charity, including chairman/founder Gary M Williams, Althea Knight and Lyndon Taylor, made presentations of the scholarships and gifts of school supplies at the institutions last week.

Part proceeds of funds raised at COJO's annual charity ball held each December in New York, the scholarships of US$1,000 each will help offset examination fees for the four awardees.

Alpha Boys' Home and City of Refuge also benefited from the generosity of former New York Knicks star and Houston Rockets assistant coach Patrick Ewing who donated sneakers to the cause.

Gary Williams, chairman/founder of Children of Jamaica Outreach and member, Althea Knight (stooping), ensure a perfect fit for Michael Henry of Alpha Boys' Home. The sneakers were donated to the cause by former NBA star Patrick Ewing.

COJO is a non-profit organisation in New York with a mission to help improve the health, education and general well-being of underprivileged children.

Over the past decade, the volunteer-driven organisation has supported a number of institutions in Jamaica as well as the United States. Among them are the Alpha Boys' Home, Glenhope Place of Safety, Marigold Child Care Centre and the Musgrave Girls' Home in Jamaica, and the Queens YMCA and Leaf of Life in New York.

Williams, who led the organisation's seventh visit to Jamaica since it was formed in 1994, said "any opportunity to help" children "is a worthwhile investment which has far-reaching implications".

"If we fail to take care of our children, there will be no future for us," he said, while thanking MeadWestvaco, Air Jamaica and the Jamaica Pegasus - all of which he said supported the organisation's efforts.



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