Rhy Waddington, Executive Chef Winged Foot Golf Club, and Juan Carlos Lopez, Club House Manager, are running a half marathon in support of the Rockhouse Foundation and its work supporting education in Jamaica. “At the club we have an amazing connection with Jamaica both through the caddies that work here and with a number of our key kitchen team over the years. For me personally I also have a great connection with the island and am a regular visitor and lover of the culture. A few years ago I joined the board of the Rockhouse Foundation, and fully support the amazing work they are doing in education in Western Jamaica."
Rockhouse Foundation is a U.S.-based 501(c)(3) charity, also registered as a charity in Jamaica, that has been transforming schools in and around Negril, Jamaica since 2004. The Foundation has built, expanded and renovated seven schools and the Negril Public Library and invested over US$6 million in its projects and programs. During the pandemic the Foundation pivoted and has been supporting families through a food distribution program. Many families rely on the school breakfast and lunch programs as a key source of nutrition for their children. With school moving to remote, combined with the key tourism industry downturn, families have struggled. The funds raised here will be focused on two objectives:
Families continue to need help putting food on their tables and navigating their children’s disrupted education. In Jamaica, 50% of workers derive income related to the hospitality industry, but with tourism arrivals down over 80% since July 2020, recovery has been very slow and families continue to suffer. In March 2020 the Foundation began weekly food distributions, delivering staples to those most impacted, and have been maintaining sustenance for over 1000 people. The need for food security remains critical in our partner school communities and we are committed to underwriting this food security program throughout the pandemic until school returns in the fall.
SUPPORT FOR PARTNER SCHOOLS TO BE READY FOR RE-OPENING
The Foundation supports its partner schools with ongoing programming. Schools have been largely closed since March 2020 but, like all structures, they require ongoing and periodic major maintenance, especially after an extended period not in use. We are planning significant repairs and restoration at each location throughout the upcoming summer as a return to in-person learning is planned for September 2021.
In Jamaica you get great leverage on your dollars by cost effective implementation. The Rockhouse Foundation projects would cost many times more in the USA. With all administrative and fundraising expenses underwritten by the Rockhouse, Skylark, Miss Lily’s and the ownership, every donated dollar goes directly to the projects and programs. With the Foundation on the ground to manage and administer the projects and programs you can be sure the children of Jamaica get the most from your donation.
Rhy Waddington & The Rockhouse Foundation Team