On May 22, 2016, V.I. Mothers Against Guns Inc., and Jason Carroll Memorial Fund Inc. held the Thirteenth Annual Walk/ Run Against Gun Violence in the Virgin Islands. It was a great success for the participants, the volunteers and sponsors, and the community.
The winner of the Jason Carroll Memorial one-year full tuition scholarship at the University of the Virgin Islands is Hairol Breton, a graduating senior at Charlotte Amalie High School, and we congratulate him. To date, because of the support of the community and our sponsors and donors, we have given out more than $70,000 in scholarships and assistanceships to help deserving students who have an investment in our community.
A big thank you goes out to Governor Kenneth Mapp for proclaiming May 22 as Crime and Gun Violence Prevention Day and encouraging residents to participate in the Walk /Run. We also thank Chief of Police Darren Foy for his continuing support and for his brief remarks and the reading of the proclamation to the participants. We also take the time to offer our condolences to those members of the community who have lost loved ones to violence and who took the time to sign the Memorial Wall in memory of their loved ones.
We would also like to take this opportunity to thank our sponsors: Fintrac LLC, St. Thomas Radiology Associates, the 284 Connection and the M2M Road Race, as well as our partners: My Brothers Workshop with Scott Bradley, the UVI Anti-Violence Peace Initiative, Caribbean Surf Co., Cooperative Extension Services, the VIPD Crime Prevention Unit with Sgt. Bridget Conow and the police cadets. A special thanks to the Crime Prevention Unit for the presence of Mr. McGruff at the Walk-Run this year. Also, we thank the Department of Human Services with Alston “Magic” Creque and the DHS volunteers. Creque and our son, Jamaal, the head of the AVPI, teamed up to create the program for the event this year. Our sponsors and partners help to make the event happen, and contribute to the success of the event in so many ways. We also thank our partner, the St. Thomas Association of Roadrunners along with Therese Hodge and the STAR volunteers.
We would also like to recognize donors who gave sums for this event, including Joel Holt Esq., P.C., West Indian Company, Dudley, Topper and Feuerzeig, Attorney Henry Feuerzeig individually, Attorney Marjorie Rawlins, V.I. Chiropractic, Kevin Lenahan, Barry Stanley and Sharon Simmons.
We are also grateful for the donations of beverages, ice and other refreshments and sundries from Bellows, Caribbean Food Service, Cost U Less, Crown Mountain Water, Wala Ice Factory and West Indies Co. We also thank the Officers of the Virgin Islands Police Department and the volunteers with St. Thomas Rescue who helped to make certain that we would have a smoothly run and safe event.
We also want to thank the volunteers for the Walk Run who helped to make the Walk/Run a reality, including Kacie Marano, Tim McKaghe, Trevis Baker, Ronnie Moorehead and the other Fintrac volunteers; and Dolores Todmann who helped on the day of the event. Also, we thank Marcella Sadler, as well as our past scholarship recipients, Devon Williams, Andrea Dorsey, and Jeanna Sujanani and our assistanceship recipient, Makiel Cepeda. Special thanks to the other volunteers who helped with the registration and distribution of tee shirts. We also thank the newspaper salespeople, Everett and Karen, who helped us distribute flyers.
The program would not have been possible without the assistance of Julian Jackson Jr. who helped with the music and sound system and Dara Cooper and Walter Browne, our Masters of Ceremonies. Also, the event was blessed by the Adventist Youth Drum Corps and Joel Gifft signaling the start with the Shofar. Thanks also, to Jim Latham for the map of the course. Also instrumental in the event were Simeon Thompson who did the audio PSA for the event and Josiah James who took pictures and helped us by taking photographs for the tee shirt. We also thank the champ, Julian “the Hawk” Jackson for participating in the photo shoot for the tee shirt.
We wish to congratulate the trophy winners in our nine different age categories for male and females and our overall winners Antonio Maysonett, the top male runner, and, Lisa Parfitt, the top female runner. We also congratulate Ivanna Eudora Kean High School, the school with the most participants, and Charlotte Amalie High School, the runner up, and Nuff Respect Basketball Club, the community organization with the most participants, and Living Hope Cathedral, the runner up. Our youngest participant was Carmelo Febres, three years old, and our most senior participant was Yvonne Presha, a young 75, who traveled all the way from New York for the event and who has supported the event since its inception.
We want to congratulate those people who represented their families, schools and communities 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 commit in our hearts to change for true change to occur. It is up to us as a community for true change to occur. With the Grace of God, together as a community, we can change and win the war against gun violence. God bless the Virgin Islands. Sincerely,
Celia A. Carroll, president
Jason Carroll Memorial Fund Inc./ Mothers Against Guns Inc.
Walk/Run Brings Attention to Anti-Gun Campaign
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