By Neil Armstrong
Pride Contributing Writer
Brampton, Ontario — Jamaica National Building Society’s Toronto Representative Office and JN Money Services recently collaborated with the Brampton A’s basketball league to host a themed night, Caribbean Night, where the winners of their first Black History Month essay competition was announced.
The building society is celebrating its 140th anniversary and plans to give back to the community through several initiatives.
“It was an opportunity to do a Caribbean Night and allow it to have a double barrel effect by announcing the winners of the competition, so that’s really what we wanted to do. I would call it truly successful, “ said Jerrold Johnson, Interim Representative Officer, JNBS-Toronto about the February 28 event.
The competition was open to students across Ontario who had to write on the topics: “What Black History Month Means to Me” and “How can Black History Month shape future generations.”
Johnson was impressed with diversity of students that participated and the new exposure that the company gained across the province. The finalists were of African, Asian and Latin American descent.
Cheng-En (Anthony) Huang, a grade 11 student from Father Michael McGivney Catholic Academy in Markham, was the second place winner and Jenate Stampp, a grade 12 student from Fletcher’s Meadow Secondary School in Brampton, won the first place.
Stampp won an iPad Mini, 4 tickets to the Brampton A’s basketball season finale, her essay will be published in this newspaper, and her essay and photo will be published in the JN newsletter.
Huang won 2 tickets to the season finale and a $100 visa gift card. The third place winner, Melyssa Ortega, 16 of Cardinal Ambrozic Catholic Secondary School in Brampton, received 2 tickets and a $50 visa gift card.
Charles Matthews of CMJ Entertainment Inc. and the voice for the Brampton A’s games says the league is new in Brampton and he proposed the idea of a Caribbean Night which just happened to fall on the last day of February, the end of Black History Month.
Brampton A’s supported the initiative and Jamaica National decided to hold an essay competition aimed at students in grades 9 to 12, to write 150-200 words of what they thought of Black History Month.
The students did not know that they won until their names were announced by Kerry-Lee Crawford, a program host at G98.7 FM and also the announcer at the games.
Jamaica National is now in the planning stages of its second annual Father’s Day Brunch, having recognized that there are usually very few events honouring fathers on that day.
The sponsors of the Caribbean Night were CMJ Entertainment Inc., United Achievers Community Services, By Blacks.com, Durham Caribbean Festival, First Friday’s, Toronto Caribbean and Durham Citizen newspapers and Pride News Magazine.