COJO praised for supporting educational and children’s institutions

Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Ralph Thomas (center) is flanked by recipients of the 2015 Children of Jamaica Outreach (COJO) Award. The 21st Awards and Scholarship Gala was held at the JFK Airport, Hilton New York hotel in Queens on Saturday, November 5, 2015. From (r-l) are Carl Stuart, Attorney Donald Vernon, Oliver McKenzie, Olympian Veronica Campbell Brown, COJO’s President, Gary Williams, Madge Warren, also sharing in the occasion US Congresswoman Yvette Clarke and Mr. Trevor Smith who represented Mr. Patrick Jolley. (Photo Credit Derrick Scott)

Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Ralph Thomas has praised the New York based Jamaica charity, Children of Jamaica Outreach (COJO) for contributing just over half-million US dollars over the past 21 years in support of various educational and children’s institutions in Jamaica.

Addressing COJO’s 21st Awards and Scholarship Gala at the JFK Airport, Hilton New York hotel in Queens on Saturday, November 5, 2015 the Ambassador said, “I am heartened by the tremendous support being given by members of the Diaspora across the United States.”  He said he was particularly pleased by the generous contribution made by COJO under the leadership of its founder and chairman, Mr. Gary Williams who through initiatives such as the annual gala raised funds to assist children’s charities in New York as well as in Jamaica.

Ambassador Thomas pointed out that in 2014, fourteen organizations including educational institutions and children’s homes received just over nineteen thousand dollars from COJO which also provided scholarships to students in need.

“Your invaluable efforts especially in the areas of education and healthcare, two vital pillars of development, have not gone without notice by the people and government of Jamaica on whose behalf I would like to thank you,” the Ambassador said.

The Jamaican Envoy noted that COJO has significantly impacted the lives of thousands of Jamaican children, who in addition to young people, make up a large percentage of the Jamaican population.  “Your organization has remained true to its mission to provide a range of well-needed social services and your dedication to providing adequate access to proper healthcare, quality education and advancing the overall well-being of children are deserving of commendation”

In his remarks, COJO’s chairman Gary Williams said, COJO’s mission is to give all youth the chance to reach their God given potential so that they can become happy, useful and contributing citizens.  Mr. Williams said the organization which started in 1994 as way to give back to his homeland, has been true to its mission, as over the last 21 years it has contributed significantly to the youth and educational institutions of Jamaica.

Jamaican Olympian, Veronica Campbell Brown who received the humanitarian award was one of five individuals and one organization to be honored by COJO.  Other honorees included Mrs. Madge Warren with the distinguished service award; Mr. Patrick Jolley the visionary award while Attorney Donald Vernon and Oliver McKenzie both received the community service award with the corporate award going to Carl Stuart from Caribbean Airlines.

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