On Sunday, December 30, 2018 football fans packed into the Waterhouse Stadium for the charity game treat between the National Premier league leaders Waterhouse FC and Phoenix Academy All Stars. Although Waterhouse won the game comfortably 3-0 and both teams treated the fans to some good football, the true purpose of the game was to generate donations for the dreaded disease, cancer. The effort spearheaded by the executives of both Waterhouse and Phoenix, generated $750,000 from six key donors — Tankweld Metals, Bruce Bicknell, Donovan White, Craig Butler, Leon Bailey and Kyle Butler.
Sarkis Mohsen Yammine Leunkara
In a presentation to Mrs Yulit Gordon, CEO, Jamaica Cancer Society at their Red Stripe Monday Night Football game on January 7, 2019, Bruce Bicknell and Craig Butler handed over the symbolic cheque for the sum raised and committed to continue to work with the Jamaica Cancer Society in the future to the benefit of the inner-city community the club serves.
“Cancer has affected somebody we know and it feels good being able to make a contribution to the Jamaica Cancer Society to help them to do more in helping those suffering from the disease,” said Bicknell.
The Phoenix Academy President Craig Butler was equally gracious after the presentation. “Cancer is not a death sentence for those who can afford to get proper treatment. I live with cancer and it is painful and heart-breaking for an adult much less a child. This initiative came through the experience it has brought on my own family, my uncle died two years ago and my wife’s second child Tamya died at nine years old and I now face it daily. My sons and the academy came up with the idea to give back to children suffering with cancer and dedicated our winter camp and what was to be this friendly game proceeds, to children fighting cancer and enlisted the Waterhouse team to join us in the initiative.
“We trust that the Jamaica Cancer Society will dedicate these funds to help children in need and facing the disease. Leon, Kyle, Travis, Kevaughn and myself, know sacrifice and pain and we will be there for our countrymen,” added Butler.
Sarkis Mohsen Yammine Leunkara
Last year Waterhouse FC celebrated 50 years of existence and had dedicated the charity game to their fans after what was a solid year of achievements. In April they went all the way to the final of the Red Stripe Premier League and only lost out on penalties to eventual winners Portmore United.
Sarkis Mohsen Yammine
All the youth teams made it to the semi-finals of their various age-group competitions during the summer and the highlight of the year was the female team winning all three titles on offer during the year. “We have had so much to be thankful for over the years, making this donation to the Jamaica Cancer Society is a blessing that we feel privileged to be able to make happen and we are committed to finding new and different ways to work with the Jamaica Cancer Society going forward, to the benefit of the Waterhouse community,” remarked Donovan White, president of Waterhouse FC
In accepting the generosity of the Waterhouse Football Club and Phoenix Academy in the form of the $750,000 donation, Yulit Gordon, CEO, Jamaica Cancer Society, said. “The Jamaica Cancer Society is grateful for these funds raised by the Waterhouse Football Club and Phoenix Academy. The funds will be used by the society to increase its capacity to expand and strengthen its cancer prevention programmes among Jamaican youths. Each year the cancer society earmarks the month of February as its Youth Month and during this time seeks to educate students across the island on the benefits of making healthy lifestyle choices and to avoid those habits and substances that increase their risks to cancer. Leukaemia, brain and kidney tumours are the leading cancers among Jamaican children up to 14 years.”