In July 2019, the Jamaica Judo Association (JJA) welcomed a pair of visitors from Canada. Namely, Dany Marquis and his son. They were on a coffee hunting mission in the beautiful Blue Mountain. During their visit, they decided to pop down to one of our judo sessions. After a successful coffee and judo journey, they returned home.
Few months down the line, we received a message about a donation from Mr. Marquis who was auctioning all his Jamaican coffee barrels and offered to donate the funds to the JJA. We were absolutely thrilled and thankful for his offer. The donation was followed up with a wonderful letter of appreciation from Mr. Marquis.
Dear Mr Barnett,
In July 2019, I travelled to the Blue Mountain in Jamaica to understand the Jamaican coffee culture and to buy coffee with the purpose of increasing my business collection. I met great people and I fortunately had the opportunity to bring back extraordinary coffee. My clients can now find the Blue Mountain coffee, grade #1, from Clifton Mount Estate, in my exquisite signature coffee collection. I was very impressed by the quality of the beans, their respect of the environment and how they manage production and employees. While I search for coffee around the world, I always try to find a way to give back to the local community. There are many useful organisation around the world that take care of people in need and work hard to create opportunities to develop people.
Personally, I strongly believe that education and sports are important in life. As a judo practitioner, I searched for a club and people that fit my value. I contacted the Jamaica Judo Association and they helped me find the nearest club so I could train with them while I was travelling. I was able to reach the Cedar Grove Academy in Portmore and participated to a training session. They were really welcoming and they took good care of us. It was definitely different to train in such a warm climate. I met lots of great kids, very motivated and disciplined, leaded by Miss Szandra Szogedi. I didn’t know that judo was new in Jamaica and I learned that the association is working hard to establish martial art. They already have some athletes that are doing international competition, that’s very impressive! But I also noticed, like in every martial art school, some students that will probably never be at an international level. They are for me the most important people. I am very far to be an international level athlete, but I see judo as a way of life. I believe that this amazing sport give some tools to be a better person and to succeed in life. Perseverance, respect, loyalty, and discipline are important assets that you can learn from it.
I was very happy to be able to help the association and create a campaign to send some money with the purpose of helping them in their mission.
Thank you again for your welcome, it was a nice example of friendship and mutual benefice.
Response from President Mr. Barnett:
Dear Mr. Marquis,
On behalf of the Jamaica Judo Association, I would like extent our sincerest gratitude for your generous contribution, which will go towards supporting our athletes with education. Your very generous donation will surely have a significant impact on helping the many youths we work with each day.
Unfortunately in Jamaica, the school requires fees in order to attend, which for some of our student’s and their family is difficult. We work with some of the most deprived youths in Jamaica and for these reason we decided to allocate the funds for our athletes to help with their schooling.
We want to thank you for helping us to make a positive change. Your generous support encourages our organisation to continue commitments to reaching our goals.
We honour your friendship and you always welcome in our judo family.
President | Jamaican Judo Association