December last year, I heard of the shortages facing some of our student athletes as they went about their daily lives of fulfilling their young dreams. These dreams included getting a daily decent meal; having car fare to ply to and from school, and to compete respectfully for Kingston College.
I heard the story of one old boy making this sacrifice to feed these students athletes from his own pocket, and the hardships presented on him to keep a promise and still maintain his own family. As the story unfolded over the phone, I instantly committed to helping three of these individuals realize their dreams. We have 130 such dreams for our track team.
As I write this story, you will see where my commitment starts and continues, and hopefully at the end; each of you who took the time to read the article will have made some commitment to help our current batch of students. Your commitment may be in a monthly check, or it could be to track the progress of the support, or pass the article onto a friend or family member who can help our alma mater.
The strength of KC is in our students who make their way from around the corner of North Street and across Jamaica to breathe fresh life into our corridors and two campuses; the faculty, who challenge our Fortisians to think and write in ways that transform our intellectual capabilities; our alumni, the tangible product of this remarkable institution; and the Kingston College parents, who support their children and this college in ways too numerous to count – forever we are tied together.
Last school year, you were one of more than thousands of students, alumni, parents, faculty, and friends who cumulatively contributed J$millions to our various funds. I can only estimate the giving since we have no tangible facts, but the example is important, because it shows the tremendous outpouring of Kingston College community support that allows us to make a claim that “Kingston College” is the greatest high school, in the greatest city in the Caribbean and the world.
Allow me a few more lines to reflect on current history of our individual athletes:
- Hansle Parchment bronze medalist 110M Hurdles London Olympics 2012; Gold medalist @ The World University Games 2011, finalist @ CAC Games 2011. Ranked 4th in the World and 1st in Jamaica. Holder of the 110m Jamaica record.
- Leford Green 400m Hurdles finalist London Olympics 2012, Gold medalist 400M CAC Games 2011; bronze medalist 4*400M relay team at 2011 World Championships, ranked 8th in the World and 1st in Jamaica.
- Keiron Stewart, ranked 63rd in the World, ranked 4th in Jamaica, finalist at the Jamaica Olympic Trials.
- Stephan Fennell, 110M Silver Medalist at the CAC Junior Champs 2012, Jamaica HS 110M champion 2012, ranked 7th in Jamaica.
- Akino Ming, ranked 94th in the world in the 400M, 10th in Jamaica, also ranked 8th in Jamaica in the 800M.
- Alex Saunders, 1500M runner, Champion @ Boys Champs 2012, ranks 9th in Jamaica over the distance.
(Source: www.jam.milesplit.com, www.all-athletics.com)
Should we not be proud of our achieving student athletes? Our graduating seniors, current student-athletes, and incoming first-year student-athletes all appreciate the strong sense of community that is fostered by your involvement. I am proud of each one of them.
This year a group of us have set out to raise J$1 million to support the inimitable experience of Kingston College. When we fundraise at KC, we think long and hard about how those funds will be used. We don’t arbitrarily set these goals and we don’t ask for money simply to say that we reached that goal. We want to provide our student-athletes with opportunities to learn and compete in the best frame of mind and physical well being. We want our student-athlete to stay focused on their academics when in the class room and transition to be the best athlete when performing on the field of athletics.
Most importantly, we want to offer need-blind assistance to our student athletes when they are admitted to Kingston College. We want all athletes to feel equal on our campus and that no preferences were handed out to a few. We want the word in Jamaica to be said: KC is on top of its game. You have that power in your pocket book and attitude to do so.
I have been stunned by the outpouring of support to further these goals in the past year as I got involved and I hope I can count on your continued and enhanced support.
On Saturday, October 20th, I kept hearing the call to action; the call came from the East, the West, the South, and the North. Our KC needs our shoulders. I read a few paragraphs on the reasons why KC was founded – “ to help young men to be leaders of our Country and Community” –Look what Hansle, Leford, Keiron, Stephan, Akino, and Alex are doing for our brand –the Fortis brand. The question is, do we want the tradition to continue as created by pretty Willie, Foggy Burrowes , Ray Harvey, Rupert Hoilett, Lennox “Billy” Miller, Trevor Campbell, Leighton Priestly, and Davian Davis?
So, I answered the call and so far there are three founding member forging towards the GOAL of J$1,000,000 (one million Jamaican dollars). We agreed to pledge J$100,000 each over the next six months before Champs 2013. A fourth person has communicated great interest. We seek seven other donors at a minimum.
One donor will receive complimentary grandstand season tickets to Champs 2013(season), also complimentary tickets to the Jamaica Senior Championships will be assigned to another lucky person.
Checks should be directed to:
4125 Hollywood Blvd.,
Hollywood, Fl 33021-6734
The Atlanta chapter will report the progress via the KC electronic newsletter.
I hope you, as a member of the Kingston College community, will make an investment in the exceptional and diverse student body, who each live by our motto “ Fortis Cadere Cedere Non Potest.”