The Grand Bahama Shipyard (GBS) is using funds raised from its annual fishing tournament to help schools in the western parts of Grand Bahama.
This year’s efforts will aid the West End schools as well as completing upgrades to Eight Mile Rock’s track and sports field.
“At our first tournament we raised just over $13,000. Last year we tripled that figure with $45,000 for the East End primary schools, and this year we have over $60,000 for improvements,” said Ed Pavey, the Shipyard’s tournament director and director of technical and planning.
Profits made from the event are being used to assist Bartlett Hill Primary, Martin Town Primary, Holmes Rock Primary and Eight Mile Rock High School.
One of the first projects the Shipyard worked on was for Holmes Rock Primary. Work completed this weekend included exterior painting of the school, the purchase and painting of picnic tables for children, gardening and a new sign for the school.
“Our apprentices and volunteers worked so diligently that more was accomplished than originally hoped for,” said Mr Pavey, who has been the group’s mentor for this event and led the apprentices with their coordination efforts.
The Shipyard apprentices are building bleachers for the playground and basketball courts, as well as working on new swing sets.
“It is imperative for our apprentices to understand the importance of giving back to their community,” said Shipyard chief executive and president, Carl Rotkirch.
“As part of the apprenticeship program at the Shipyard, apprentices are required to assist with community service projects and we hope they learn to continue this practice in their own lives.”
Joining the apprentices and getting their hands dirty, too, were minister for Grand Bahama, Dr Michael Darville; chief councilor for West Grand Bahama, Rosnewy Cooper; Mr Rotkirch; and vice-president of Grand Bahama Shipyard, Reuben Byrd; along with his wife Jacqueline Byrd, and Mr Pavey’s wife, Cindy.
The Shipyard has assisted schools and educational programmes on Grand Bahama for the last three years, as part of its annual fishing tournament fundraisers,
Last year, funds raised from the tournament were used to upgrade the playgrounds at Free Town and High Rock Primary schools, as well as upgrade the schools’ education equipment and computer centres.