NEW YORK – Olympic double sprint champion Usain Bolt, has given a boost to the fundraising efforts of the New York-based Children of Jamaica Outreach (COJO), by recently signing three pairs of running shoes, which are to be auctioned by the charity.
The shoes, donated by Puma, are part of a limited edition produced in commemoration of Bolt’s world record of 9.72 seconds clocked at the Reebok Grand Prix in May 2008 in New York, just prior to his outstanding performance at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.
Chairman of COJO, Gary Williams, who brought the shoes to Jamaica for Bolt to sign, said that while the shoes, by themselves, were already valuable, “Usain Bolt’s signature increased their value even more, and the money realized from their sale will go a long way in funding projects in Jamaica.”
COJO is a 15-year old non-profit organisation dedicated to improving the health, education, and general well-being of underserved children.
Over the past decade, the volunteer-driven COJO has supported a number of institutions in Jamaica and the United States. Among them are the Alpha Boys’ Home, Glenhope Place of Safety, Marigold Child Care Centre, and the Musgrave Girls’ Home in Jamaica; and in New York, the Jamaica Queen’s YMCA, and Leaf of Life.
Each year, the organisation hosts a gala in New York to raise funds for scholarships to deserving students.
Jamaican Olympic star, Usain Bolt (centre), points out the finer points of a pair of Puma running shoes to Chairman of Children of Jamaica Outreach (COJO), Gary Williams (left), and COJO Executive and Managing Director of Transcontinental Express Shipping, New York, Robert DeSouza. The shoes, which were recently signed in Jamaica by Bolt, will be auctioned by COJO as part of its fundraising efforts. The sneakers, donated by Puma, are part of a limited edition produced in commemoration of Bolt’s world record of 9.72 seconds clocked at the 2008 Reebok Grand Prix event in New York, just prior to his amazing performance in August 2008 at the Olympic Games in Beijing, China.