Career & Education

Cornwall College alumni have big plans for 2018

Sunday, February 04, 2018

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EGBERT Clarke of the class of 1977 will lead the powerful Cornwall College Alumni Association of South Florida for the third consecutive year, after the chapter's election on January 21.

Last year, under his leadership, the alumni association surpassed most of its targets, and the president is confident 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,” Clarke said.

Over the last eight years the chapter has donated over 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 achieve their educational goals by providing funds for books, food and transportation. Last year they handed out over US$5,000 to needy students.

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,” Clarke stated.

“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 $60 million, of which $5 million has been funded from the old boy chapters and special groups of graduates.

Each year the South Florida chapter hosts three main fundraisers to help in their objectives to support 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.

Of course, these three events place a tremendous amount of pressure on the various teams, and so, in order to alleviate the associated work challenges, the president has set as one of his goals an increase in membership of 50 per cent, bringing the total membership to 60.

“I would really like to reach out to all Cornwallians out there and especially the ones in South Florida to come on board and give a helping hand. Giving back to the school should be an automatic consideration,” he suggested.

The other board members are Warren Bloise (vice-president), Easton Turner (treasurer), Patrick Green (PRO), Richard McInnis (fundraising), Christopher Sterling (secretary), Colin Ramsay (membership) and Lance Gibbs (alumni relations). Supporting these core members are five directors-at-large — Orvil Denton, Deon Reid, Michael Nedrick, Keith Thorpe and Kimani Phillips.

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