p>PHILIPSBURG:— Since the passing of Hurricanes Irma, Jose and Maria, The Rotary Club of Sint Maarten has spent its time, effort and financial resources with a direct focus on the children of Sint Maarten. According to the Rotary Club of Sint Maarten President, John Caputo, “It was a very conscious decision made by our Club after the hurricanes. We recognize that our children are the future of our island and the world, so it just seemed logical to focus on both the intermediate and long-term needs of our students, knowing that much immediate term aid was available. We began by reaching out to our partners around the world and locally to make a difference, by refocusing some of our standing community projects, and by tackling some large projects directly related to the hurricanes”.
During the months of October, November and early December, the Rotary Club of St. Maarten distributed just under 800 dictionaries to all third grade students in 17 different schools across Dutch Sint Maarten. According to project chair, Kishore Idnani, “This project has been a standing project for our Club for a just about a decade. There is something quite special when you watch a third grader open a dictionary and learn how to use it properly. This year, the project was extra special as it represented a small step in the return of normalcy for the third graders and for our Club”. Club President, John Caputo added, “The deep gratitude of our Club goes Shams and Anish Chugani, who help us make this project a reality, year after year.
Continuing its focus on the youth, the Rotary Club of Sint Maarten turned its focus to the Sister Marie Laurence School in Middle Region. The school was significantly damaged and looted after Hurricane Irma. Contributions from around the globe have been earmarked for the Sister Marie Laurence School and through partnership with Shams of Philipsburg, and the Caribbean Lottery, a new kitchen was installed at the school. On December 15, 2017, members of Club held a Christmas Party for the students at school, along with a visit from Santa Claus, who helped spread Christmas cheer. The Rotary Club of Sint Maarten would like to thank and acknowledge our international partner, The Rotary Club of Singer Island Florida for their very generous donation of 200 toy boxes that were distributed to students at the Sister Marie Laurence School and the Rotary Club of Huizen for its financial assistance.
Mr. Caputo continued, “And, if that wasn’t enough activity, many members of the Club gathered at the Dutch Quarter Community Center on Saturday, December 16, 2017 for the Annual Children’s Holiday Party, sponsored by the Rotary Club of St. Maarten, Domino’s St. Maarten and many other companies and individuals that went above and beyond for more than 200 Dutch Quarter youth. Bob Barron donated his time and karaoke talents to lead everyone in Christmas carols, followed by a visit from the man in red, Santa Claus. Popcorn, face painting, cotton candy, and the bouncing castle were also available for all the attendees along with Domino’s pizza. And of course, the contributions from Jump Up Casino Bingo festivities went along way towards helping Santa and Rotary bring all these great toys to the Dutch Quarter. I think it’s safe to say that everyone, including the adults had a great time”.
The Rotary Club of Sint Maarten would like to thank you our sponsors and contributors of all their efforts including the Jump Up Casino, Don Ation, Funtopia, Domino’s St. Maarten, Bob Barron, Mr. and Mrs. Sumner B. Sochrin, Island 92 Radio, Divico Distributors, Super Plaza, the Affordable Store, the Rotary Club of Singer Island Florida, the Rotary of St. Catherines, Ontario, Canada, the Rotary Club of Huizen, Netherlands and everyone who participated in all of our youth related endeavors.
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Press Release from the Rotary Club of St. Maarten