Alpha Boys' Home to benefit from KC 5K/Walk race

BY HOWARD WALKER Observer senior reporter

Thursday, April 24, 2014    

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The second staging of the Puma Fortis 5K/Walk road race will be held on Sunday, May 4 with the aim of raising $5 million for two beneficiaries — Kingston College (KC) and Alpha Boys' Home.

Last year approximately 900 persons participated, and according to the event's project manager Rick Case, $1.2 million was garnered. This year, at least 1,500 participants are expected for the event.

Entrance fee is $1,000 per participant.

"It's about giving back to the community. Last year we fell short of our target, but in our project charter we have increased the purse to Alpha," noted Case as he addressed the press launch at Kingston College's North Street campus yesterday.

"This year we have included a contribution only because there are many of us who do not wish to walk or run. All proceeds from the 5K will be used to fund educational and sports development programmes at KC and towards our charity at Alpha," he added.

Pauletta Jones, administrator at the Alpha Boys' Home, said despite what is happening in the press about the storied home for displaced boys "we are grateful" for the assistance.

"We are overwhelmed and really appreciate it... we are so looking to this event," said Jones.

The race will start on North Street and South Camp Road at 7:00 am and continue up to Camp Road onto Marescaux Road towards East Heroes' Circle and onto East Street, proceeding to North Street and back to KC.

According to Case, the course starts out with a challenging incline and a fast finish, which will enable persons to achieve personal bests over the distance.

The roads leading to the staging area will be closed to vehicular traffic between 6:30 am and 8:30 am. The course will feature water stops at the start and finish and three along the course to ensure adequate hydration.

Qualified medical personnel will be on hand, along with increased security and parking lots at neighbouring schools Holy Trinity High and St George's College. Additional parking will also be at the Central Sorting Office and Sabina Park.

KC old boy Alfred Francis, who wears two hats as race director and a Puma representative, said the German sportswear giant has "found a home in Jamaica and a partner in KC".

There are a number of other sponsors including NCB, Best Dressed Chicken, Hi-Lyte, Sips Spring Water, Lasco Foods, Flow, Sportsmax, The Gleaner, Jamaica Producers, Bella Oasis Day Spa, Lumitech, Rainbow Awnings, Guardsman Group, Konnexx Services, Genesis Finance Services and Running Events Limited.

Belinda Williams, NCB's group corporate communications manager, said her organisation was pleased to be associated with such quality brands as KC and Puma. "When you have brands such as KC and Puma, NCB are among winners," she said.

Richard Bowen, CEO of Lariba marketing and a member of the organising committee, said "all these sponsors will one way or the other make this event one of the best".

He also took the opportunity to highlight the 50th anniversary of KC's historic pioneering venture into the Penns Relays.

"Special awards will be presented to the 1964 Kingston College Penn Relay teams, their coach and chaperone in commemoration of the first-ever Jamaican high school team to the Penn Relay," noted Bowen.

That team included Olympian Dr Lennox 'Billy' Miller, Jimmy Grant, Dr Tony Keyes, Alex McDonald, Rupert Hoilett, Lennox Tulloch and coach Donovan Davis. The legendary Calabar past student Herb McKenley was the chaperone and the KC old boy Eli Matalon managed the team.

Registration for the event closes tomorrow and individuals and teams can register online with either credit or debit cards at Manual registration can be done at the school. Race packages can be collected on Thursday, May 1 and Friday, May 2 between the hours of 11:00 am and 5:00pm at Running Events Limited at 87-89 Tower Street. Also on Saturday, May 3 at KC school ground at 2A North Street.

Race director Alfred Francis (right) has the attention of NCB's Belinda Williams (second right), project manager Rick Case and Pauletta Jones of the Alpha Boys' Home at yesterday's launch of the Puma Fortis 5K at Kingston College's North Street campus. (PHOTO: BRYAN CUMMINGS)





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