Noel Thompson, Freelance Writer
INTERNATIONAL GOLFERS are teeing it up at the elegantly manicured White Witch Golf Course in Rose Hall, Montego Bay to assist with local charities.
The California-based golfers flew into the island on Thursday to participate in the Caribbean Classic Golf Invitational (CCGI) tournament, which started yesterday and will end tomorrow. This is the second year that the 'Annual Benefit Golf Tournament' is being staged in Montego Bay.
Celebrities involved include actor and media host Steve Harvey; actor and comedian Anthony Anderson; Marcus Allen - a member of the U.S. Football Hall of Fame; actor Richard 'John Shaft' Roundtree; Jamaican actor Jeffrey Anderson Gunter; actor Boris Kodjoe; performing artiste Sandra Denton, of 'Salt and Pepa' group; gold medal Olympian Ed Moses, among others.
"My parents taught me that God blesses you to become a blessing to others. I think more people need to know what's happening in Jamaica in order for things to change here," said Steve Harvey, one of the driving forces behind the tournament.
He was speaking at a press conference held at the Barrett Town All-Age School in Rose Hall, yesterday, to officially launch this year's tournament.
He continued: "Whether contributing to Jamaican charities or American ones, it means it is just black people and I have a spot in my heart when I see black people suffering, especially children. I see black people hurting and I just want to help."
Proceeds from the tournament will go towards establishing technology-learning centres in primary and all-age schools across the island. Several schools have benefited from last year's tournament to the tune of US$200,000, of which US$80,000 was donated by the Steve Harvey Foundation.
Richard Stephenson, foundation president and event chair of CCGI, said: "We are committed to enhancing the competitiveness of the children of Jamaica in the global community."
State Minister in the Ministry of Tourism, Entertainment and Culture, Wykeham McNeil remarked: "The tournament does three things for Montego Bay. It sees people coming to Jamaica to enjoy themselves, when celebrities come to Jamaica it promotes Jamaica internationally and the conceptualizers give the proceeds back to Jamaica and its education system."
Member of Parliament for East Central St. James, Ed Bartlett, lauded the group. He said when they return for next year's event, the highway leading from the Sangster International Airport to Lilliput should have some attractions along the roadway with a boulevard named after John Rollins.