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Reggae artist brings soccer equipment to children in Saint Lucia

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Tuesday,  May 26, 2009 –  St. Lucian roots reggae artist Taj Weekes, launches TOCO SOCCER in St. Lucia, through his charity They Often Cry Outreach (TOCO), by bringing hundreds of soccer balls, uniforms and equipment to both primary and secondary schools and local charity groups on the island. The soccer gear will be distributed during a press conference in the Conference Room at the Olympic Committee, Olympic House in Barnard Hill on Friday, May 29th at 1:00 pm. 


Built on the belief that one soccer ball can be not only a source of joy to a child but also improve health, self-discipline, self-esteem and confidence, TOCO SOCCER was inspired by Weekes’ own childhood in St. Lucia, where he experienced first-hand the benefits of the game. Building these traits in children strengthens their ability to move through society with the knowledge that they can live beyond their circumstances and take responsibility for their own health and well-being, an important element in diabetes prevention, so prevalent in St. Lucia today.


Through TOCO’s recent efforts, BIOLA University of Southern California has pledged five annual scholarships to qualified soccer players who exhibit strong grade point averages and testing scores. These scholarships will be awarded to Saint Lucian students through TOCO SOCCER and are an exciting asset to TOCO’s mission, which includes supporting Saint Lucia's school soccer programs as well as providing soccer equipment to individuals and small organizations that have already formed or want to form youth teams.


TOCO is collaborating with RISE (St. Lucia) Inc. for this event and is honored to have the support of Dr. Jacqueline Bird and Dr. Stephen King; the latter will be addressing the group at the press conference. RISE and TOCO share the common goal of supporting and engaging youth so that they may take the lead in their own development and contribute something of value to their communities.


TOCO is proud to announce the support of the following individuals who, and organizations that are expected to be in attendance at the press conference: Mr. Donovan Williams, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Social Transformation, Youth and Sports, Mr. Richard Peterkin, President, St. Lucia Olympic Committee, and Dr. Marcus Day, Director, Caribbean Drug & Alcohol Research Institute. Several regional educators are also expected to attend the conference and accept equipment on behalf of their schools.


TOCO’s heartfelt thanks go to Mr. Brian Louisy, Executive Director of the St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce, for his efforts as liaison between agencies to make this event possible, Mr. Martin Rojas of shipping company CaribTrans, for transporting the eleven donation boxes to St. Lucia, Mr. Trevor Philips, Trevor Philips Agencies, Ltd., broker who is managing clearance of donation boxes through customs, and Mr. Freeman Stevens, Documentary Filmmaker & Photographer, who will capture footage of the press conference and subsequent meetings for an ongoing documentary about TOCO.


They Often Cry Outreach (TOCO) was founded in 2008 by Taj Weekes in an effort to help underprivileged, at-risk and orphaned children in the Caribbean and beyond through sport, enrichment, educational and wellness programs. With the support of the World Association of Former United Nation Interns and Fellows (WAFUNIF), the International Consortium of Caribbean Professionals (ICCP) has named Taj Weekes a Goodwill Ambassador to the Caribbean in recognition of his efforts through TOCO.


For more information on Taj Weekes, visit and


Press Contact:

Shirley J. Menard

They Often Cry Outreach

27 Edgewood Place

Great Neck, NY 11024


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