Le'Antonio Foundation stages treat
Karrie Williams, Gleaner Writer
WESTERN BUREAU:Scores of youngsters from Barnett and Railway lanes in Montego Bay were treated to fun and giveaways during the Le'Antonio Foundation's annual Christmas treat at Barnett Lane, on Sunday.
More than 200 gift bags filled with educational books and toys were given to the excited children. In addition to receiving gift bags, the children were also treated to sandwiches, cake, ice cream, and other goodies. The event also saw the staging of the Little Princess Competition, which was won by Kadeja Linwood.
"I get a feeling of euphoria from making people happy," founder of the charity, Antonio McKoy, told Western Focus. "This is the community where I operate my roofing and construction business, so I feel it is absolutely important to give back. Last year, we had a great response, and I wanted to go all out this year to make it even better," he added.
The giveaways were in no way limited to young residents of Barnett and Railway lanes. The Christmas treat also saw several children from adjoining inner-city communities in attendance. All children left the venue with gift bags, and they, as well as their parents, expressed appreciation for the gesture.
"This is a good thing that Mr Antonio is doing for the community. Earlier in the year, he helped us with back-to-school and now this Christmas treat. Some business persons will not do this, so we are very grateful to him. We are even more happy because, for many of us parents, these gifts are possibly the only ones our children will be receiving for Christmas, because times are so hard," said one parent, Trudy Hamilton.
lucky elderly persons
Adults who accompanied children to the fun day were not left out either. A total of 30 gift packages, containing a variety of items including toiletries and hand towels, were randomly given out to them, and two lucky elderly persons each received a bag of goods containing essential grocery and household items.
Mark Douglas, who is a co-founder of the Le'Antonio Foundation, said this was only the beginning for the two-year-old charity.
"We are in the community and so this is our way of giving back. However, our activity is not only limited to Railway and Barnett lanes, we have already started to reach out across St James and also other western parishes," he said.
Sponsors of Sunday's Christmas treat included Thrifty Gas Station, Food For The Poor, Berty's Bar, Le'Antonio Roofing & Construction, C&H Special Snacks, Bay City Supermarket, the Rising Sun Foundation, Deloris Computer Service, Michelle Decor and Distribution, as well as recording artiste Chokey Taylor.
The Le'Antonio Foundation operates a homework centre and a mentorship programme at its headquarters, located at 1 Barnett Lane, Montego Bay. The centre is open to youngsters between the ages of six and 16.