Wed | Nov 14, 2018

'Men of might' set lofty goals - Cornwall College Alumni of South Florida vows to do more to help alma mater

Published:Sunday | February 4, 2018 | 12:00 AM
In this December 2016 file photo, president of the Cornwall College South Florida Alumni Association, Egbert Clarke (right) shares lens time with Cornwallian Kirk Thorpe and his wife Pilar.

Egbert Clarke from the class of '77 will lead the Cornwall College (CC) Alumni Association of South Florida for the third consecutive year, after the chapter's election on January 21.

Last year, under his leadership, the CC Alumni Association surpassed all but a few of its targets, and the president has expressed confidence that the oldest Jamaican Alumni in South Florida will do even better this year.

"It was a good year for us in 2017. This year, we intend to work harder with the committees, to generate higher numbers, so we can continue using our operating funds for the benefit of the school," said Clarke.

Over the last eight years, the chapter has donated more than US$140,000 to the school, supporting sports, academics, and growth initiatives.

Through scholarship disbursements, the 'men of might' from South Florida have helped numerous students to achieve their educational goals, by providing money for books, food, and transportation. Last year, they handed out more than US5,000 to needy students.

 

Boost for Sports

 

Currently, Cornwall College, which is one of the oldest high schools in Jamaica, does not have a mondo track and the president stated that the renovation of the sports ground will be a primary focus, as part of their long-term plans.

Eighteen months ago, the football field was renovated, with contributions from various chapters, which allowed the 2016 daCosta Cup champions to play on their home turf, after a number of seasons.

"The football field was just the first phase of an ambitious programme to transform the playing field and pavilion into a first-class athletic complex," said Clarke.

"Upon completion, the complex will include the main football field surrounded by an eight-lane, 400-metre mondo running track, adjoining practice fields, a grass athletic running track, a cricket pitch with batting cages, a long jump pit, and the restoration of the field's security fencing and perimeter wall."

The proposed facility will seat approximately 2,000 patrons with adequate parking and a secure turnstile gate entry and ticketing system that fosters accountability.

The initial cost estimate for everything is J$60 million, of which J$5 million has been funded from the old boy chapters and some special groups of graduates.

 

THREE MAINFUNDRAISERS

 

Each year, the South Florida Chapter hosts three main fundraisers to help in their support objectives for Cornwall College.

There is March Madness on March 23, a Family Fun Day on June 24 and the Dinner Dance Weekend, which is held on the first weekend in November each year.

Over the last three years, the main event, which is a formal affair with high-profile artistes on the Saturday night, has been sold out.

The other board members are Warren Bloise (vice-president), Easton Turner (treasurer), Patrick Green (PRO), Richard McInnis (fund raising), Christopher Sterling (secretary), Colin Ramsay (membership), and Lance Gibbs (alumni relations).

Supporting these core members are five directors at large.