by Charles Gladden
BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Sept. 1, 2022
Over fifty children will be able to attend classes for this upcoming school year through the assistance of the River Valley Foundation, a non-political entity that has been conducting an annual Boom Run fundraiser and using the proceeds to fund projects aimed at assisting the community.
The aim of the foundation is to improve conditions in the River Valley community and other areas where residents are in dire need of assistance. Over the years, the proceeds from the group’s annual Boom Run fundraiser have been used to build properly functioning bathrooms for two schools within the community, where students previously had to use a pit latrine, as well as to fund a marching band so that kids in the area can engage in an after-school activity.
This year, the group was able to disburse over ten thousand dollars in tuition assistance among over fifty school children. The president of the foundation, Nick Martin, told AMANDALA that these kids were selected with the assistance of the schools and members of the church community so that the funds could be directed to those most in need of the grant.
“The students were contacted from the River Valley area. Members of the community got in contact with the schools, and we spoke with the bursar from there. They told us the kids from the River Valley that aren’t able to pay their school fees and how we got the names. We also identified through pastors and group community leaders of other kids that they know want to go to school but simply can’t afford it, and that’s how we got it,” Martin said.
According to Martin, the group, whose members include Michael Hyde, will meet in November to pinpoint needs within the community and plan its annual Boom Run in February.
“We thank all the sponsors. We couldn’t do it alone. We had some sponsors that aided us, every year they come out and we appreciate them coming. We try to make the Boom Run more fun every year; like we have a school competition where kids come and represent their schools. We also have a corporate side where businesses compete against other businesses, and at the end of the event, that winner gets a trophy and bragging rights,” Martin explained.
The students getting the grants are from various primary and high schools within the Belize City area and nearby rural communities, with one recipient attending SJCJC.