PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — Over the last year, it has become much more difficult for organizations and individuals on the island who give their time to educate and support the children in our community. One of those persons who play an integral part in the life of the kids on the island is Mr. Tom Burnet, AKA Coach Tom, who has been involved with kids on Sint Maarten since 2009.
In 2012, Coach Tom with some volunteers, started an afterschool program with the Sint Maarten Little League, offering sport training and tutoring to at-risk kids of the community. The St. Maarten Little League designated a special location in the park where Coach Tom could assist the kids with their homework and life lessons.
In connection with the rainstorms near the end of 2020, the location where Coach Tom and the kids use as a study location was flooded and rendered almost unusable.
Philipsburg community officer Inspector S.P. Carty, who was made aware of the difficult situation at the Little League Stadium, approached Mr. Ivan Havertong to see what his company could do to assist the after-school program at Little League stadium.
Recognizing the importance of the program to the St. Maarten community, Mr. Havertong decided to contribute to the plan, which would place gravel to cover the area where the children normally do their schoolwork. With this, the covered area would be usable by the kids for a longer period of time, even when it rains.
On 14 January 2021, the plan to surface the covered area was carried out whereby gravel was delivered by Mr. Havertong’s company, and the community officer together with the volunteers carried out the work needed to assist Coach Tom and the children of the after-school program.
The St. Maarten Police (KPSM) would like to thank all those who have contributed towards improving the situation for the afternoon program.