I’m back!

And I am tired but happy.

I’ll report more later about this trip and the new computers we brought (and the high-speed internet that is on its way) but for the time being let me send Brampton Primary’s thanks for its receiving of the very special gift by US-1 Radio’s Mark Ryno Masca: His own personal PlayStation2 videogame system along with 15 videogames.

In part because of his generosity, Brampton Primary managed to raise $52,000 JA (about $900 US) at this year’s end-of-the-year concert. So how did the PS2 figure in? It was used to generate money by kids playing games during at the event. It was one of the event’s central attractions!

The concert—which is like a variety show, carnival, and dance all tied into one—is the single biggest fundraiser for the school, and this year became its most successful year in the decades it has been holding the event.

Imagine $900 US being a large part of an annual budget. That’s why this videogame system was so important. And I had promised it to the school. However, when the PS2 system I was bringing turned out to have a unfixable faulty laser, I became frantic. It was too late for me to order one off of eBay even. (The school had requested a PS2 specifically to use to raise money, as they had some games of their own already.) So I called Biz Baz and put out a request.

I listen everyday pretty much, part of my morning routine. Subsequently, Mark, Foxy, and Bill Becker are like friends to me. It’s great radio. And gratefully, they had read the story about the school and this effort in the Key West Citizen.

But when Mark said he’d pony up his own system, I was flabbergasted. I was overcome by joy and relief, it was as if a tremendous weight had lifted off my shoulders. I had to fight back tears and just say thank you thank you thank you.

To me, the 778 students at Brampton Primary are like my own now. The idea of failing them was unthinkable. And a it turns out, my belief in them was well-founded.

Along with all the other activities set-up for the concert/carnival, the many, many kids all together played videogames for hours (at $30JA/.50¢US an for 10 minutes). When I was told that it was an important part of their fundraising, I could only imagine but I had no idea what to expect. Again, I was profoundly surprised. For me, this Jamaican experience is one surprise after another.

But pictures tell a better story. I have much more to share about this trip but right now before Christmas I wanted to say thanks to Mark and Foxy and Bill Becker and US-1 Radio, for coming through as they did, and extra-special thanks to Mark. I hope you can see from the photos below just how significant a contribution you made to a great bunch of kids you have never met but who I believe are among some of the best in the world.

PS2 arrives. First players!

A crowd gathers early…

…and plays late (4 hours later).

Brampton Primary sends shout-out to US-1 Radio and Biz Baz…

…then its back to business!

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mark Ryno Masca
    Dec 24, 2008 @ 04:49:12


    Thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of this in some small way. This has made my holiday. I am so proud to have been a part of this.

    thanks again!

    Merry Christmas. Let’s get together for a celebratory drink!


  2. Paul
    Dec 29, 2008 @ 16:07:16

    Wow, what a great story! It is so wonderful to hear of such generosity of self. Who is this Mike Mongo? He should be recognized on ABC World News “Person of the Year”.
    Thanks for bringing this story to us.



  3. elizabeth
    Mar 10, 2009 @ 15:22:49

    mike what a great gift you are to this world! You have the ability to see good in others and create even more wonderful life experiences-!!!!!
    for those that are lucky to meet you well.. they are lucky enough elizabeth c


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