Hello Family & Friends Happy Holidays!
Hope this email finds you all in great health and good spirits as we begin to enjoy this glorious holiday season. As many of you may or may not know, a couple of weeks ago our son Omari Zaire Smoak qualified to fence in the USA Junior Olympic Fencing Championships taking place in Portland Oregon Valentines Day weekend. We are so very proud of Omari and all of his accomplishments which he has worked extremely hard to achieve.
Omari at the Peter Westbrook Foundation Fencing Club in New York City.
Now that Omari has an opportunity to participate in the USA Junior Olympics and embark upon this exciting and amazing new journey, we are asking for your assistance in order to make his dream a reality. I am hosting two fundraisers. The first fundraiser is directly through this site (gofundme.com) which will allow you to donate right here, right now without hassle. Your contributions will assist in offsetting the cost of the trip where the funds will be used to assist with the cost of airfares, fencing equipment, lodging, food, competition registration fees and other incidentals.
Omari with mentor Peter Westbrook celebrating Youth Day. Peter Westbrook is a former American sabre fencing champion, active businessman and founder of the Peter Westbrook Foundation.
Never ever would we have imagined our son making it to the Junior Olympics. It takes years of hard work, dedication and expensive private fencing lessons. Although Omari has been fencing since he was ten years old and is a dedicated epee fencer who always gives his best, we certainly did not have the resources for costly private world champion fencing coaches which many of his counterparts do have. But, to our surprise and certainly with God's grace and blessings Omari made it and, is on his way to achieving one of his life long dreams.
Omari with Olympian, World and National champions Keeth Smart and Ivan Lee of the Peter Westbrook Foundation.
So, as we head to Portland Oregon on February 14, 2014 I am asking you all to lend your support and prayers. We need prayers in reaching our goals, we need prayers in our travels and we will need prayers for the competition.
Omari at New Jersey Fencing Alliance Club in Maplewood, NJ.
Omari at New Jersey Fencing Alliance Club in Maplewood, NJ. Placing 3rd in a Y14 event.
Omari's fencing birthday party (11 years old) at the Fencers Club in NYC with World Fencing Coach Buckie Leach and World Fencing Champion Adam Rodney.
Omari and World Fencing Champion Adam Rodney.
Part two of the fundraiser will consist of a dinner sale and a silent auction scheduled for Saturday January 11, 2014 at a location in Brooklyn, NY to be announced later.
Thank you all in advance for your continued support.
- Debra Hood
- Leonard Jones
- Ella Johnson
- Danny McGuigan
- Wil, Helen & Danielle Buckery