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Puma Fortis 5K seeks millions for charity

Published:Thursday | April 2, 2015 | 4:00 AMShayne Fairman
From left: The 87-year-old Roy Thomas, one of the oldest road racer in Jamaica, displays a message along with race director Alfred Francis and Dennis Lalor, chairman, ICWI, during the launch of Kingston College's Puma Fortis 5K Race/Walk at ICWI, New Kingston, yesterday.

Kingston College (KC) will be hoping to use the road-racing landscape to raise $5 million from its Puma Fortis 5K Run/Walk, scheduled for Sunday, May 3, to raise funds for the school and give back to the community.

The event was launched at the Insurance Company of the West Indies (ICWI) building on St Lucia Avenue in New Kingston yesterday.

Principal Dave Myrie described it as a way to unite the KC family, while lauding the KC Old Boys' Association's (KCOBA) contributions to the school and wider community.

Its third renewal will come in the same month that the institution celebrates its 90th anniversary and the organisers are hoping it will be exciting and well supported.

Proceeds will be in support of KC's track and field programme, The Alpha Boys' School and scholarship awards for its students.

The two prior stagings yielded $2.5 million, with Alpha Boys' School receiving $200,000, while KC student Joshua Swaby was a 2014 scholarship awardee. His mother, Pat Gillings, praised the assistance given to her son.

"It came at a timely moment because having no idea how to pay for 10 CSECs and one CAPE (subject) the announcement that he was the person to get the award was happy for us," she told The Gleaner yesterday.

She described him as a well-rounded and active student, with the desire to become an architect.

"It really warms the heart that 'Old Boys' can support and make such a difference "I have a passion for KC, they have a passion for my child," she added.

Charles Arumaiselvam, Alpha Boys' School's PR director, lauded the event, while project manager Rick Case thanked Myrie and the school board for their endorsement.

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"The foundation of KC is giving back to the school and the community, and this was a part of our grooming at KC," said Case.

For the event, they are hoping more than 5,000 people will turn out, while imploring new sponsors to support.

The theme for the race is 'Show your School Colours' and it welcomes participants to represent their alma mater.

Endorsements were given by Dennis Lalor, chairman of ICWI; Pat Gillings, mother of the 2014 scholarship awardee, while veteran road runner Roy Thomas, one of Jamaica's oldest road racers at age 87, was named an honouree.

The cost to enter will be $1,000 for individuals; students with KC school identification cards are free, while other students will pay $500.

Start time is 6:30 a.m. for runners and 6:35 for walkers.