On May 21, 2006, Mothers Against Guns, Inc. and Jason Carroll Memorial Fund, Inc. held the Third Annual Walk/ Run Against Gun Violence in the Virgin Islands. We increased our participation again this year with nearly 200 walkers, runners and joggers. Many more came out to take a stand against violence in the community. Because of the participation of the community, we were able to help a young person to further her career. It takes a village to raise a child. Each of us who participated in the events on May 21, or who supported the event, has helped by being part of the village.
We are grateful for the opportunity to again help one of our Virgin Islands youths to pursue their destiny by going to college. This year, Andrea Dorsey, a graduate of Charlotte Amalie High School, won the full tuition one-year scholarship to University of the Virgin Islands by winning the essay contest. She wrote the best essay entitled "How the Virgin Islands will stop excessive violence in its community." She was chosen as the winner of the contest by a panel from UVI for her essay. We are also happy to be able to award a partial tuition scholarship to UVI to last year's winner, Anyssa Richardson. We are very proud of both of our scholarship recipients, and we are thankful to be able to help them fulfill their purpose in life.
A big thank you goes out to Governor Charles Turnbull for proclaiming May 23, 2006 as Criminal Victims Memorial Day and Jason Carroll Memorial Day and inviting the community to participate in the events planned for the day. That Tuesday, exactly six years after the death of our son, was utilized for a clarion call for repentance for the amount of blood that has been shed in this land.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank our sponsors, Elizabeth Jane's the Silver Source, Essentric Shoe Boutique, St. Thomas Radiology Association, Attorney Joel Holt, the Law Offices of Marjorie Rawls Roberts and the Law Offices of Dudley, Clark and Chan. We would also like to thank Dudley, Topper and Feuerzeig and Kokopelli Restaurant for their donations and all of the other donors whose contributions made the event a possibility. We are grateful for the sponsorship of Bellows International, West Indies Corporation and Lifestyle Accents & Home Furnishings for supplying the runners with water and other refreshments. We also thank the Virgin Islands Rescue Squad and Colonel Clarence Hansby and the Civil Air Patrol for the great assistance that they gave us on the day of the Walk/Run in making sure that everything went smoothly and safely.
A special thank you goes to Therese Hodge and the St. Thomas Association of Road Runners and the volunteers that came out in force to help us on the day of the Walk/Run. We could not have held the event without their expert assistance. STAR has helped us from the beginning, and they have been with us every step of the way.
We also want to thank the members of Mothers Against Guns who helped to make the Walk/Run a reality, and those in the community who have prayed and helped us persevere. We thank Youth Pastor Sharon Amey for delivering the prayer at the beginning of the walk/run. Also, we want to thank George Amey for all of the support that he gave us in getting the word out. We cannot forget the support of Apostle Alger Warren, who helped by lending the resources of the Faith Christian Fellowship Church/ Alive in Christ to assist us.
The event was enhanced by those individuals who delivered anti-violence messages and performances before the awards presentation. Those individuals include Gwendolyn Rojas who sang, "For Every Mountain," a song dedicated to the mothers; Renee Benjamin who did a Mime entitled "the Battle is the Lord's;" Cherchaela Spellen, 10 years old, who played a steel drum solo, "My God is an awesome God;" Angela Rawlins who sang, "What about the Children?" and FP, who delivered his rap message, "If you kill your brother!"
Again, the event would not have been what it was if it were not for the runners and the many walkers who demonstrated by walking and running against violence. We wish to congratulate the trophy winners in our 8 different age categories for male and females and our overall winners Bob Bowen, the top male runner, and Aneicia Williams, the top female runner. We also congratulate Addelita Cancryn Junior High School for being the school with the most participants, and the Agape Youth Organization, the community organization with the most participants. The School and the Youth Organization won trophies that can be put on display. This is the third year in a row that Addelita Cancryn has won the trophy for the school with the most participants.
Only when we decide to make a change will things begin to change. Our prayers are with the parents and families of those who have lost loved ones through gun violence. We encourage you to persevere knowing that God is on the throne and vengeance belongs to Him alone.
Celia A. Carroll, President
Jason Carroll Memorial Fund, Inc./
Mothers Against Guns, Inc.