Team Jamaica Bickle launches Penn Relays activities

Sen. Kevin Parker with Trudy Deans (left), Jamaica’s Consul General to New York, and Kiva Clarke, Trinidad & Tobago’s Consul General to New York.
Team Jamaica Bickle

Team Jamaica Bickle (TJB), the Queens-based organization that supports Caribbean athletes at the Penn Relays in Philadelphia, has launched its 2018 program at what it described as “a well-attended event” at Sandz Bar & Grille in Queens.

TJB said on Friday that the April 12 event “announced the organization’s activities leading into the Penn Relays, which forms a part of its community outreach and fundraising efforts.”

A special welcome was extended to the Consul General of Jamaica to New York, Trudy Deans, her Trinidadian counterpart, Kiva Clark, TJB said.

It said that in order to set the tone and highlight Jamaica’s dominance in track and field, the video of Jamaica’s Aisha Praught’s (surprising) win in the Steeple Chase at the Commonwealth Games was shown “to much applause by Jamaica’s Consul General and the audience.”

“Ms. Clarke was welcomed by the video of Trinidadian Michelle Lee Ayhe winning the 100m at the Commonwealth game to her delight,” the statement said.

It said remarks were delivered on behalf of Caribbean Food Delights / Royal Caribbean Bakery, TJB’s founding partner, by Janice Julian, marketing/public relations officer. “They are celebrating 40 years in business, 24 of which have been committed in part to TJB around the Penn Relays,” the statement said.

It said the official launch of Romain Virgo, as ambassador of the organization for 2018-2019, was the highlight of the evening and was presented by VP Records’ Aaron Talbot.

TJB said Romain has committed part-proceeds from the download of the song, “Still,” from the album, “Lovesick,” to the organization. He will make an appearance at this year’s Penn Relays.

“At only $1.29 per download, this is an opportunity for many people to help with the efforts of TJB,” said Richard Lue, director of business development, VP Records. “Let’s make ‘Still,’ the most downloaded reggae song ever in one week, so that we can make a significant contribution on the behalf of VP Records, Romain and the fans.”

The event highlighted TJB’s calendar of activities, as well as its MANNA Raffle. The MANNA (medical attention and nutrition now for athletes), raffle offers a grand prize of five days / four nights at the all-inclusive Sandals Jamaica, coupled with a Catamaran Cruise, courtesy Island Routes and a US$800 air-fare travel voucher. It raises funds mainly to outfit schools in Jamaica with defibrillators.

Akelia Lawrence Maitland, Jamaica Diaspora advisory Board Member, NE Chapter, spearheaded an impromptu fundraising moment that raised over US$1,500 on the spot and “sparked donations at,” said TJB.

In his remarks Jamaican Irwine Clare, TJB chief executive officer, thanked founding partner Caribbean Food Delights/Royal Caribbean Bakery for “24 years of solid support.”

He also highlighted the calendar of events leading up to the three-day Penn Relays, which culminates on the last Saturday in April, and closed by expressing gratitude to all who supports the organization, especially those in attendance.

Among other dignitaries attending the event was New York State Sen. Kevin Parker, representative for the 21st Senatorial District in Brooklyn.

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