Founder of TJB Stresses Importance of Volunteerism


President of Team Jamaica Bickle (TJB), Irwine Clare, Sr., has said that volunteerism has fueled the growth of the group over the 11 years since it was established in New York and Philadelphia in the United States. Speaking at a fund-raising reception at the corporate offices of PECO Energy, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on April 10, Mr. Clare told an audience of business and community leaders and students that the growth and worth of TJB “epitomizes the fact that volunteerism works.”
Team Jamaica Bickle, a New York based independent outfit, has been providing for students/athletes from Jamaica and the Caribbean community, particularly those involved in the Penn Relays.
The 113th running of the Penn Relays will take place at the Ben Franklin Stadium, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, from April 26 to 28, 2007, beginning at 9:00 a.m. each day. “We have come a far way and it is you the volunteers who must take credit as it means that we are making an impact,” Mr. Clare said, noting that the Team Jamaica Bickle organization would dedicate this year’s programme to volunteer, Aretha Saunders. Mr. Clare, who founded TJB with Blane Stoddart from the University of Pennsylvania, said that, “as our athletes continue to excel on the world stage and make us proud, we as a community have a responsibility to ensure that their stay here in Philadelphia is a memorable, comfortable and safe one.”
He said that one way of underlining the extent of the partnership among the community, the sponsors and TJB, would be the presentation of an award to Victoria Mutual Building Society (VMBS) by the Penn Relays Committee for their unstinting support of Boys and Girls Champs and the TJB/Penn Relays programme.
This will take place at the opening ceremony at the Penn Relays Carnival at the Ben Franklin Stadium, University of Pennsylvania, on Saturday, April 28. Consul General of Jamaica, Dr. Basil K. Bryan who served as patron of the event, thanked Team Jamaica Bickle, the sponsors and volunteers, “on behalf of the Government of Jamaica,” for their work over the last 11 years, noting that, “we have come this far by faith.” Dr. Bryan, an ardent supporter of the Penn Relays programme, said that with an estimated 45 per cent of the audience being Jamaicans, the three-day event would provide a feeling of camaraderie that was unmatched anywhere. The 2007 TJB International Community Service Award was presented to Pennsylvania State Representative, Dwight Evans and the West Philadelphia Seventh Day Adventist Church for their leadership and support of community related endeavours. Certificates of Appreciation were presented to The Reef Restaurant, International House of Philadelphia and Exelon African American Members Association/PECO for their support of the TJB initiative over the years.

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