Guyanese alumni association raises funds for Alma Mater

St. Joseph's High School Guyana Alumni Association US Chapter Inc. team members of the Jus' Curry lunch pick-up fundraiser, in Atlanta GA. From left, Nicole Baiely, Anulda Killikelly, Junette Bagot, Brenda Locke, past acting president, Judy Grant, and Sharon Barnwell.
Photo by Tangerine Clarke

The 90-degree temperature in ‘Hotlanta’ did not deter past students of the St. Joseph Alumni Association Guyana, US chapter Inc. (SJHAA) from putting on a successful ‘Jus’ Curry pick-up lunch Atlanta launch, to help create a presence in the Peach State while raising funds to benefit their Alma Mater.

In addition to a serving of delicious Guyanese fare, benefactors purchased from a collection of merchandise of Tee shirts, face masks, tumblers, and lapel pins, designed with the school’s newly designed logo — that were on sale to benefit the school in Georgetown.

Regional Coordinator, Deyonne Wharton, told Caribbean Life, the Aug. 14, fundraiser held on the grounds of Caribbean International Shipping Services, owned by Sharon Barnwell, an alumni — was one of three held simultaneous in New York, Atlanta, and Maryland, the first of its kind, planned by any high school in Guyana.

Wharton, an executive member, is calling on past students of St.  Joseph High School, living in Georgia to make contact via the organization’s website, or by calling her directly at 678-559-2886. She added that the alumni, looks forward to additional support to move the organization forward, in a positive direction.

She applauded team members for braving the heat to make the event a success, noting that she was proud to be a part of the group that pioneered such a fundraiser.

One form of recognition by the alumni is the presentation of a gold graduation ring. This award is given to the top 10 graduating students upon successful completion of the annual Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) Examinations, according to Wharton, who added that the proceeds from the ‘Jus’ Curry event, will go towards this initiative.

Brenda Locke, past acting president, who flew in from New York to lend support, thanked Wharton and committee members for their steadfast service, calling Wharton a positive, energetic leader, who ensured that the event ran smoothly.

She noted, that the fundraiser had a great turnout, exceeding the goals, despite the heat, and credits the walk-ins for the positive financial outcome.

She thanked proprietor of Caribbean Int. Shipping Services, Sharon Barnwell, for generously donating the space, adding that the organization has plans for future fundraising events to carry on its mission.

In the summer of 2014, group embarked on a project to send a shipment of school supplies to St. Joseph High School in Georgetown.  The goal was to provide basic, but essential school supplies to all incoming first year students to supplement their foundational building blocks, and to also support the needs of students in their second, third, fourth and fifth years of high school.

That first shipment of supplies included writing instruments, notebooks, geometry sets, solar powered calculators and Spanish to English dictionaries.  The project was successful and was named School Tools For First Formers.

St. Joseph High School that serves students in Grades 7-12, and whose motto is To Know — To Love — To Serve, has a core mission to raise funds for the purpose of supplementing the needs, education and welfare of current students of the St. Joseph High School, located in Georgetown, Guyana.

“We are committed to promoting awareness about the needs and achievements of the school by facilitating socialization and fraternization among alumni, friends, former teachers and staff of the School who reside in the United States,” said the website.

The fundraising team members included, Anulda Killikelly, Brenda Locke, Camille Crawford, Dyonne Wharton, Judy Wilson, Junette Bagot, Neibert Davis, Nicole Baiely, Sharon Barnwell, Stacy Grant, and Uso Sayers.

Executive Board Members are Janice Richardson, president;, Linburn Henry VP; Denise McGarrell, treasurer; Errol Adams, general secretary; and Paula Barkie-Easton, asst. secretary/treasurer.

To learn more, make a donation or purchase merchandise, click www.sjhalumniusa.org), or connect on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook & LinkedIn.

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