Palm Beach Donors Build School in Jamaica Through Food For The Poor

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Dec. 19, 2016)  Since its founding nearly 35 years ago, Food For The Poor has counted its victories by helping one child, one family, one village at a time.

Generous Food For The Poor donors will have a chance to help the charity continue that mission and help young children thrive at The One Event on Friday, March 3, 2017, at The Colony Hotel, 155 Hammon Drive, Palm Beach, Fla.

The event will feature cocktails, a silent auction, fine dining, dancing, and the opportunity to change the lives of families in desperate need. Proceeds from the event will support building a school in Mason Hall, one of Jamaica's poorest communities.

Education always has been a seed deeply planted into the minds of the Jamaican people. The Caribbean nation has experienced its share of economic hardship – many parents cannot afford to pay school fees, or buy the books, school supplies or uniforms necessary to send their children to basic school. Many of the nation's school buildings, such as the existing Mason Hall Primary School, are dilapidated or in desperate need of repair.

The new Mason Hall Primary and Infant School will be built by merging eight Food For The Poor single-unit houses into one 1,728-square-foot building with a corrugated metal roof, spacious classrooms, a kitchen, a bathroom with shower stalls and a playground – all to ensure an environment that fosters learning and achievement.

It will benefit 60 children ages 3 to 6 years currently enrolled at the school. Older primary students also will benefit from less overcrowding. Infant schools are the backbone of the educational system in Jamaica because it is where young children develop their social skills and get the educational foundation needed to advance to primary school, which is equivalent to an elementary school in the United States.

"The best gift of all is the gift of knowledge, and those who are in a position to help can do so by providing the children of Jamaica with safe and inspiring places to learn," said Robin Mahfood, Food For The Poor's President/CEO. "It is truly the single best way to break the cycle of poverty."

Rafe Cochran, a sixth-grader at Palm Beach Day Academy who organized his own golf tournament to raise money to build Food For The Poor homes for destitute families in Haiti, will be honored at The One Event with the One For Change Award.

When Rafe was 9, he became one of Food For The Poor's youngest donors when he gave a donation to the charity to build two homes for families in Ganthier, Haiti. He achieved that goal by having his generous supporters pledge $100 for pars, $200 for birdies and $250 for eagles during one of his tournaments. In 2015, when he was 10, he presented another check to the charity to benefit a family in Thomazeau, Haiti.

Rafe's second annual Rafe Cochran Golf Classic is set for Saturday, April 22, 2017, at Mayacoo Lakes Country Club in West Palm Beach.

"Rafe's commitment to the poor shows all of us the powerful difference that one person – even a very young one – can make," said Angel Aloma, Food For The Poor's Executive Director.

The One Event committee chairwoman is Mary Frances Turner. Committee members include: Ryan and Amy Bridger, Jay and Diahann Cochran, Malcolm and Lorrain Hall, Faith Morford, Russell Sherrill, Trip and Kate McCoy, Matt and Chrissie Ferguson, Ron and Dee Romeo, and Tony and Lore Smith.

The One Event will begin with cocktails and a silent auction at 6:30 p.m. Friday, March 3, 2017, followed by dinner at 8 p.m.

The silent auction will feature special restaurant experiences, unique designer jewelry, travel getaways, original artwork and more.

Supporters of Food For The Poor will have another wonderful opportunity to support the charity's school-building initiative in Jamaica before The One Event.

The event committee is hosting a Traditional English Afternoon Tea at 2 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017, at The Chesterfield, 363 Cocoanut Row, Palm Beach, Fla. Guests will enjoy a delectable selection of homemade sandwiches, scones and preserves and a silent auction with unique experiences and items tailored for women.

For additional information regarding the Traditional English Afternoon Tea, including sponsorship opportunities and tickets, available at $125 per person, please call 888-404-4248 or visit

For additional information regarding The One Event, including tickets available at $350 per person for general tickets and $250 per person for guests under 40, or sponsorship opportunities, please call 888-404-4248 or visit

Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development organizations in the nation, does much more than feed millions of the hungry poor primarily in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance, with more than 95 percent of all donations going directly to programs that help the poor. For more information, please visit

Michael Turnbell

Public Relations
954-427-2222 x 6054