By Tim Jimenez
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A local organization is looking to raise money to help Caribbean high school athletes as they make their way to the Penn Relays later this month.
The Philadelphia based group is called Young Friends of Team Jamaica. Chairman Blane Stoddart says they raise money for a larger non-profit, Team Jamaica Bickle that supports hundreds of high school athletes from the Caribbean.
“And all these kids come to the Penn Relays to run and do their best with the hope that they’ll get academic scholarships or track scholarships,” he said.
The money raised goes towards meals, medical services, transportation, lodging and more.
“These kids would not be able to come to the Penn Relays and pay all these expenses if it wasn’t for Team Jamaica so we’re very supportive of that,” Stoddart explained.
One day one of the runners might be like Usain Bolt, who the organization once helped.
“He’s from a very, very poor family,” Stoddart said. “And Usain Bolt represents the exact kind of person that we’re looking for. Team Jamaica Bickle and the Penn Relays gave him an international stage.”
The group recently partnered with 10 restaurants to hold Caribbean Restaurant nights on April 4 and 5. Each restaurant plans on donating 10 to 15 percent of proceeds to support Team Jamaica Bickle.
They are also hosting a few events leading up the Penn Relays including a Reggae Concert at the Trocadero on Saturday, April 28.
For more information you can check out their facebook page or call them at 267-266-1612.