The Falcons Boys’ Club (FBC) provided some hurricane relief while offering a vast number of young men the opportunity to engage in a Mini Basketball Camp, featuring to visiting coaches out of Florida over the weekend.
Dean of Students and Head Basketball Coach at the Orangewood Christian School Matt Ruta and Kevin Meredith came all the way from Orlando, Florida, to assist the FCB President, Darrin Rolle to kick-off the 2019-2020 calendar year.
The opening took place on the grounds of the organization’s newly built facility, the FBC Champs Mission Community Centre, which is still in the process of being completed, in Hawksbill back on September 28.
Ruta disclosed that he was originally coming over for the opening, which was set to take place before Hurricane Dorian made landfall in Grand Bahama. However, once the storm hit the island, the basketball coach shared that they decided to make the opening a relief effort affair as well.
Rolle shares a special relationship with Founder of Champs Mission, Rick Schussler, who is Ruta’s father in-law.
“My school and another church raised funds, and we have 15 pallets that will be here soon. We loaded them up on Thursday (September 26),” Ruta explained. “They should be here by Monday (September 30) and the community centre (Falcons Boys’ Club) is going to distribute the goods.
“But we also wanted to do a little Basketball Camp. We wanted to come and invest in them and give them a fun day, give them some school supplies, feed them and use this as an opportunity to give back, especially since the island went through a devastating time.”
In light of what has transpired over the last month, one important fact Ruta wanted the young men in attendance to remember was, life is not always easy but it is important to keep moving forward.
“Life is not easy. The people who can make something of themselves are willing to push through no matter the difficulty. Perseverance, stay at it. Even though life may be tough right now, just keep working hard and keep believing that something good is going to happen.”
Meredith testified that basketball was a beacon of hope for him in the past and felt the camp would be an excellent way for the young men to get away from some of the stress they may have been going through.
“I hope it’s the same for these kids; they can get out and enjoy the game, learn something and have some camaraderie with the other kids.
“I’m super impressed by Darrin and all he’s been able to accomplish and invest in these kids. I’m really thankful for him and his presence here,” said Meredith.
Rolle was excited to get the ball rolling on the 2019-2020 year. The FBC’s president said, the Back-to-School opening included giveaways such as backpacks, school supplies and other supplies provided by Aliv.
Each child also left with a grocery bag filled with relief items, as well as a case of water.
They were also privileged to a clothing drive and a free basketball at the end of the day.
“Everything that’s going on in Grand Bahama involves groceries, restoration, trying to find people who are missing … those things are important. But there are no activities for the kids. And for the Falcons Boys’ Club, though school is not open yet for all of the kids, this was planned from July.
“We saw it fit to continue today. We’re just thankful for this opportunity; we’re thankful for this day and everyone who played a part. We also had the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated here assisting us and Mr. Eddie Whan helped with providing all of the food the kids will get to eat today,” Rolle said.
The FBC also worked with the Rotary Clubs of Grand Bahama to distribute relief items from the FBC’s centre.
Rolle took the opportunity to pray over the current Government of The Bahamas and the Islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama.
“In spite of the present devastation, there is still hope. We serve a God, who is mighty and able to revive, restore and help us to recuperate.”
Champs Missions has existed in The Bahamas for over 30 years. The Missions organization has brought in 36 pallets of items since the passing of Hurricane Dorian. Along those lines, Schussler wanted to ensure that the young men were able to enjoy themselves and let loose.
“After a hurricane they need a relief. So, we wanted them to have a good time, give them food and all those good things.
“Our positive reinforcement for these young men today is God loves them. Champs Mission loves them and most importantly we know they will make it with God,” he concluded.
The Falcons Boys’ Club meets every Saturday, from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. at the FBC Community Centre. Registration for the Club is free. Parents interested in enrolling their child in the club may contact 242-441-5620 or sign up at the FBC Community Center when the club meets.