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NFL players spread love at Granville All-Age

Published:Saturday | March 24, 2018 | 12:00 AMOkoye Henry
NFL players at Granville All-Age School in St James.

A group of African-American professional National Football League (NFL) players went on a mission to spread love and inspire the students at the Granville All-Age School in St James last Friday.

The athletes, members of the Through Our Eyes charity group, spent the entire school day with the students who were treated to a host of activities including entertainment and giveaways.

"The group is here to spread love and show others how they can impact by giving back to their community," said Jon Lesane, who heads the team. "We did warm-up drills, played football, did exercise routines, a few races and a music workshop, where one of our friends and brilliant saxophonist, Trey Daniels, actually performed."

According to Lesane, inspiring youngsters to believe in themselves and in their dreams is among the main focuses of the group. He hopes to make that positive connection as the team did during its past mission to South Africa.

"We just hope to inspire the kids to pursue their dreams whether they want to be athletes, musicians, or just be successful. This undertaking actually started last year when the guys went to South Africa to visit a high school and an orphanage. We had such a great experience that we wanted to take it further and visit somewhere closer to home that we can really impact," Lesane explained.

The Blossom Gardens Child Care Facility in Appleton Hall, Montego Bay, was the next stop for the charitable athletics group on its four-day trip to Jamaica.

A huge partner in the foreign group's initiative was Playa Hotels & Resorts, which operates Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall and Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall in Montego Bay.

Betty Ann Brown, the director of human resources for Hyatt Ziva and Zilara, outlined that Granville All-Age School had long been one of the resort's corporate responsibilities, and as such, it was fitting to partner with Through Our Eyes on the outreach project.

"We come here (at Granville All-Age) almost every month due to social and educational components, and today, we officially handed over a newly renovated sick bay to the school," Brown stated. "Additionally, some of our employees come from Granville and their children also attend this institution. So supporting our own is critical for us," she added.