Couples Ocho Rios Charity Golf tourney raises $1.8m for school computer lab


Couples Ocho Rios Charity Golf tourney raises $1.8m for school computer lab

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

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The team of Raymond Rhudd and Nick Tassone won the Couples Ocho Rios Charity Golf Tournament with a net score of 60, while the pair of Zandre Roye and Oshane Haye was top with the gross score of 62.

The 19th staging of the event played at Sandals Golf and Country Club in Upton, St Mary, on Sunday, garnered a whopping $1.8 million for a local charity.

“We have identified a primary school in Westmoreland which is close to one of our hotels, so we are looking to do a state-of-the-art computer lab for the school,” said Glenn Lawrence, Couples Resorts CEO.

“It started with our repeat guests 19 years ago when they had about 20 guests who decided to do something for the local community. Somewhere in the intervening years, the hotel got involved and it has grown to the fact that we ended up with just under 100 golfers and an event that now raises close to $2 million,” he pointed out.

Some of Jamaica's top golfers, Sean Morris, Romaine Evans, Dr Mark Newnham, Jodi-Ann Barrow, Oshane Haye, plus two national junior players — Mathea Issa and Aman Dhimand — participated.

“It's very encouraging because we had quite a few of the national players playing and for them, it's not totally serious golf because it's a two-man event. But they came and supported it and had a great time,” said Lawrence.

He continued: “So it is always good to see the top players, the medium players, and the not-so-great players all in the same event.”

Meanwhile, Vernal Campbell won the putting contest, while in the closest-to-the-pin contest winners were Arnette Simpson (hole #4); Murine Blake (hole #7); Gifford Wilmot (hole #11); Wayne Chai Chong (hole #13) and Tony Allison (hole #15).

Over the years the Couples Resorts Ocho Rios charity has raised over $24 million for local charities. In October 2019, it donated US$30,000 to assist victims of Hurricane Dorian, which devastated The Bahamas.

The Three Hills Primary School in St Mary also benefited from funds raised at both the Negril and Ocho Rios charity golf tournaments. A trailer was renovated to house the air-conditioned resources room complete with 10 new computers, new ergonomic office chairs and overhead projector at a total cost of $4.4 million.

The Animal House Jamaica also for several years has received $300,000 toward their upkeep. The Animal House is a non-profit organisation operating a shelter for dogs in Lydford, St Ann.

— Howard Walker

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