2008 Olympic Sprint phenom Usain Bolt of Jamaica, has given a boost to the fund-raising efforts of the New York-based Children of Jamaica Outreach (COJO), signing three pairs of sneakers which are to be auctioned.
The sneakers, donated by Puma, are part of a limited edition produced in commemoration of Bolt’s world record of 9.72 seconds clocked at the Reebok Grand Prix in May 2008, just prior to his amazing performance in August 2008 in the Olympic Games in Beijing, China.
Gary Williams, Chairman of COJO, a 15-year old, non-profit organization dedicated to improving the health, education and general well being of underserved children, brought the shoes to Jamaica for signing.
He said that while the shoes were themselves already valuable, “Usain Bolt’s signature increased their value even more and the money realized from their sale will go a long way in funding projects in Jamaica.”
Over the past decade, the volunteer-driven COJO has supported a number of institutions in Jamaica as well as the United States. Among them are the Alpha Boys’ Home, Glenhope Place of Safety, Marigold Child Care Centre and the Musgrave Girls’ Home in Jamaica; and in New York, the Jamaica Queens YMCA and Leaf of Life.
Each year, the organization hosts a scholarship gala in New York to raise funds for scholarships to deserving students.