PROSPECT MOUNTAIN senior Jake Troy will be traveling to Haiti at the end of November to help run a soccer clinic. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
August 20, 2012ALTON — It was as if they knew he was coming.
As part of his senior project at Prospect Mountain High School, Jake Troy was planning on joining his mother, Carol, on a medical mission to Haiti in early December.
As Troy was going through the Web site looking at what he would be doing, he stumbled upon a soccer clinic being run as part of the missions in Haiti at the same time.
And being an avid soccer player and soccer lover, Troy knew that was what he wanted to do.
"I wanted to do a senior project and go down there," Troy said. "I went on the Web site and stumbled upon one of the missions was a soccer clinic.
"I said, let me get into that," he continued.
As it so happened, the clinic is run by relatives of the same people who help to run the missions that his mother has been on in the past, so he was able to make some quick connections and got on board with the clinic.
The clinic is run by a number of professional soccer players on the small island of La Ganave, just off the coast of the main island of Haiti. The clinic is for kids of all ages and last year there were more than 300 people who turned out for the clinic.
"It's open for a lot of ages, but they're really pushing hard for the younger kids," Troy said.
Before he makes the trip, Troy is seeking the help of local folks who might be interested in donating old soccer equipment that they might have lying around the house, stuff kids have outgrown or don't use anymore.
"We can use any equipment, old or new," he said, noting the kids there don't have much to work with, so anything is appreciated.
Additionally, Troy is working on raising funds for the trip, as both he and his mother, an EMT and firefighter in Barnstead, will be heading to Haiti as part of the mission.
The Prospect Mountain senior started a Facebook group, Project Haiti, and he already is over 1,000 members and has been impressed with the willingness of those in the community to come out and lend him a hand.
"People are always willing to help out," he said, noting he is working on organizing a car wash to help raise funds in the coming months. "Everyone's been really helpful."
Troy was quick to point out that he has been getting a good amount of donations already throughout the local communities.
"I've been getting a good amount of equipment," he stated. "People are even going out of their way to drop it off at my house."
Troy is well aware that things in Haiti will be much different than what he's leaving behind in Barnstead, but he's up for the challenge.
"I can't drink the water, I'll get sick, so I have to drink out of a bag," he said. "The kids there, they're used to it, so they can drink it, but I can't."
He pointed out that the island that he will be stationed on is a bit more tropical than the main island, which is very dry. In addition to helping with the soccer clinic, Troy will be helping out in the medical clinic as well, working alongside his mother during the trip, which runs from Nov. 29 to Dec. 8.
"I can't wait," Troy said. "It's going to be fun."
Troy intends to photograph and videotape his trip as part of his senior project and hopes to bring his presentation back to the community at numerous groups when he returns home.
Anyone interested in donating to the cause, in either soccer equipment or funds, can e-mail Troy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or, catch him on the soccer field as he suits up for the Prospect Mountain boys' soccer team this fall.
Joshua Spaulding can be reached at email@example.com or 569-3126