Many volunteers and donors worked on Walk/Run Against Gun Violence
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On May 20, 2012, V.I. Mothers Against Guns, Inc., and Jason Carroll Memorial Fund, Inc. held the Ninth Annual Walk/ Run Against Gun Violence in the Virgin Islands; over 600 individuals participated in the event.
Because of the support from the Virgin Islands community, we were able to have a successful event, and to raise enough money to help two Virgin Islands youths go to college. We congratulate the winners of the Jason Carroll Memorial one-year full tuition scholarship at the University of the Virgin Islands, Khallid Mills and Denesha Babrow, both of whom are graduating seniors at Charlotte Amalie High School. UVI chose Mills and Babrow as the winners for writing the best essays entitled "How the Virgin Islands Will Stop the Excessive Violence in its Community." To date, because of the support of the community and our sponsors and donors, we have given out more than $43,000 in scholarships to help deserving students.
A big thank you goes out to Gov. John deJongh Jr. for proclaiming May 20, 2012, as Crime and Gun Violence Prevention Day. We also thank Chief of Police Darren Foy for reading the proclamation and for his address to the participants.
We would like to take this opportunity to also thank our sponsors, Fintrac, St. Thomas Radiology Associates, International Capital Management Inc. and the 284 Connection. They helped to make the event happen, and contributed to the success of the event in so many ways. Also, this year, we partnered with Scott Bradley and My Brother's Workshop who gave us immeasurable help in putting on the event. Also, as usual, we could not have done the Walk/Run without the expertise of Therese Hodge and the volunteers from St. Thomas Association of Roadrunners.
We would also like to recognize donors who gave sums for this event, including Joel Holt Esq. West Indian Co., First Bank Virgin Islands, Dudley, Topper and Feuerzeig, Henry Feuerzeig, Marjorie Rawls Roberts, Cranston Dottin Laboratory, Scotia Bank, Glacial Energy, V.I. Taxi Association; Pronto Cleaners and Dr. Kevin Lenahan.
We are also grateful for the donations of beverages and other refreshments from Bellows, Coca-Cola Bottling Co., Cost U Less, Chi-Co's, Plaza Extra and Merchants Market. . We also thank Lt. Francis who again assisted us at the water stop, and the Officers of the Virgin Islands Police Department who helped make certain that we would have a smoothly run and safe event. Thanks also to Josiah James and Jessica Joye for taking pictures of the event.
We also want to thank the volunteers for the Walk Run who helped to make the Walk/Run a reality, including Byron Cortez, Laura Lunday, Trevis Baker and the other Fintrac volunteers. Special thanks to Tim McKague for doing our website and thanks again to Jessica for the fliers for the Walk/Run. (Don't forget to go to the website www.vimothersagainstguns.org and to our Facebook page www.facebook.com/viwalkrunagainstviolence for pictures, results and other information).
Also, Dr. Ida White, Archie Jennings, Vernon Araujo, Adam Simmons, Sharon Amey, Charon Parker, and Pastor Othniel Vanterpool. . Thanks to our son, Jamaal, who came back home and helped with the event in so many ways. The program would not have been possible without the assistance of Niel Vanterpool and Julian Jackson Jr. who helped with the music and sound system and Marcus Blyden who acted as the Master of Ceremonies.
Also, the start of the event would not have been as well done without the Adventist Youth Drum Corps and Joel Gifft with the Shofar. Baker helped us in so many ways with the sound truck and setting up the tents for the volunteers and Lew Henley with the portable toilet. Again, we have to thank Simeone Thompson for doing another great public service announcement that helped to publicize the event and also, of course, Mitchell Neaves, the director of major gifts from UVI for rendering special assistance to the Walk Run this year. Also, thanks to Magistrate Judge Ruth Miller for helping us at the finish line by giving out medals.
We also appreciate the continued assistance from Mr. Battiste and also thank Superior Court Marshal Sammie Thomas for volunteering to help out this year.
We wish to congratulate the trophy winners in our nine different age categories for male and females and our overall winners Shane DeGannes, the top male runner, and Brittany Iverson, the top female runner. We also congratulate Ivanna Eudora Kean High School, the school with the most participants, and the runner-up, Charlotte Amalie High School, and the Army National Guard, the community organization with the most participants, and Fintrac, the runnerup. Our youngest participant was Jasmine Hood, 1 year old, and our most senior participant was Luis Esquillin, 73 years old.
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.
- Celia A. Carroll is president of the Jason Carroll Memorial Fund Inc./ Mothers Against Guns Inc.