On May 22, 2011, Mothers Against Guns, Inc., Virgin Islands Chapter and Jason Carroll Memorial Fund, Inc. held the Eighth Annual Walk/ Run Against Gun Violence in the Virgin Islands. The numbers of individuals participating in the event grow every year, and this year was no exception to that rule.
Because of the sponsors and donors, and the participants who represented themselves, and their families, communities, jobs and schools against violence, we were able to have a successful event, and to raise enough money to help a Virgin Islands youth go to college. This year, the recipient of the Jason Carroll Memorial one-year full tuition scholarship at University of the Virgin Islands is Tia Abraham, a graduating senior at Charlotte Amalie School, and we would like to congratulate Ms. Abraham for winning the scholarship. In the past, individuals from CAHS, Antilles and St. Peters and Paul have won the scholarship. UVI chose Ms. Abraham as the winner for writing the best essay entitled "How the Virgin Islands will stop excessive violence in its community.” To date, because of the support of the community and our sponsors and donors, we have been able to give out more than $40,000 in scholarships to help our scholarship winners.
A big thank you goes out to Governor John deJongh for proclaiming May 22, as Crime and Gun Violence Prevention Day and also, to Lt. Governor Gregory Francis for addressing the participants in the Walk/Run and participating in the event.
We would like to take this opportunity to also thank our sponsors, Fintrac LLC, St. Thomas Radiology Associates, the 284 Connection and the St. Thomas Association of Roadrunners. They helped to make the event, and, as usual, contributed to the success of the event in so many ways. St. Thomas Radiology, Fintrac, and the 284 Connection have been sponsors of the event in the past. STAR has been a sponsor of the event from its inception, and much needed support and technical expertise was given by Therese Hodge and the STAR volunteers. Thanks also to Donna Phillips who helped with registration on the day of the event. Thanks go out to Leonard Fleming and to Othniel Vanterpool for assisting with the banners. We also thank Janet Archer and Agnes Kline as well as Mr. Battiste for their assistance.
We would also like to recognize donors who gave sums for this event, including Tutu Park Limited, Joel Holt Esq., P.C., West Indian Company, First Bank Virgin Islands, Dudley, Topper and Feuerzeig, Attorney Henry Feuerzeig, Marjorie Rawls Roberts, P.C., Perfect Weddings, Dr. Kevin Lenahan, and Judge Adam Christian. Also, we have to thank Lew Henley’s Sewage Disposal for the portable toilets, Baker for the sound truck and the canopy at the registration area, and Designs for the large banners.
We are also grateful for the donations of water, beverages and other refreshments from West Indies Company, Bellows International, Cost U Less, St. Thomas Dairies and Chi-cos. We also thank Lt. Francis, formerly of the Civil Air Patrol, St. Thomas Rescue and the Officers of VIPD who helped to make certain that we would have a smoothly run and safe event.
We also want to thank the members of Mothers Against Guns who helped to make the Walk/Run a reality, including Dr. Ida White, Attorney Archie Jennings and Anita George. We also give special thanks to people who assisted us at the Mall before the event, including Taniqua Monsanto and our scholarship recipients, Kirwin Hodge, Jamilyah.Christopher and Kristell Joseph. Thanks to the Superior Court Marshal’s Staff including Deputy Marshals Phillips and Deputy Marshal Cheryl Pickering. Thanks to Julian Jackson, Jr. and our son, Jameson, who helped as emcees and helped with the music and sound system, and to our son, Jamaal, who assisted in many ways. Also, thank you to District Court Chief Judge Gomez, who took time out from his busy schedule to hand out medals to the participants at the finish line. Finally, we want to thank Byron Cortez, Claire Starkey, Ryan Moron and the Fintrac volunteers, Charon Parker and also, of course, Mitchell Neaves, the Director of Major Gifts from UVI for rendering special assistance to the Walk Run this year. Thank you to Simeon Thompson for the memorable PSA and, who can forget the shofar which was blown by Joel Gifft at the beginning of the event? Also, thanks to Keisha for the assistance with the media.
We wish to congratulate the trophy winners in our 8 different age categories for male and females and our overall winners Ryan Bareuther, the top male runner, and Ashley Benson, the top female runner. We also congratulate Ivanna Eudora Kean High School, the school with the most participants, and FINTRAC, as the community organization with the most participants. Our youngest participant was Jonah Bernier, 5 months, and our most senior participant was Vince Fuller, 70.
Finally, we want to congratulate those individuals and families who demonstrated by walking and running against violence. They were students and parents, teachers, counselors, principals and other persons from all walks of life who made a sacrifice to stand with us against violence in the community. We must have a change of heart and we must change inwardly for true change to occur. With the Grace of God, together as a community, we can win the war against gun violence. Sincerely,
Celia A. Carroll, President; the Jason Carroll Memorial Fund Inc./
Mothers Against Guns Inc.