by Kimberley Cummins
It is said that a child shall lead them, and that is exactly what Taryn Lynch did.
She led the Parkinson Memorial Secondary School’s efforts to help raise cents to support the Central Bank of Barbados and the Rotary Club’s initiative to collect five million cents or $50,000 to help the Barbados Alzheimer’s Association establish a day care centre for people afflicted by the disease.
This morning at the school in The Pine, St. Michael, Lynch as well as Principal Orson Alleyne, presented the cents raised to date to representatives from the Central Bank and the Alzheimer’s Association.
The 12 year old told Barbados TODAY that one day she saw the principal with a bottle collecting cents, the hole to the top of it, however, was very small and cents began to accumulate and it was hard to get anymore into it. What she realised, she said, was that this was a deterrent to others who wanted to contribute, so she volunteered her help. The first former said she stood and shook the bottle for a while until the cents began to move. She added that when she learnt of the reason for collecting the cents she was even more committed than before because her grandfather also suffered from the disease.
“I also did this because my grandfather has Alzheimer’s as well,” she said, “We don’t live together but I go down there all the time and help him and my grandmother takes care of him because she used to worked at the Geriatric Hospital.
“Sometimes when he is sick he would ask me ‘Where can I find a fork?’ [and all] that time the forks would be right in front his face. He has to wear a pamper because sometimes he doesn’t remember where the toilet is. He would go down to the shop and carry $2 and say it is $5; that he wants corned beef when he really wants chips.
“I like to stay home with my grandfather and make sport with him and watch TV but it hurts me sometimes.”
Lynch is now known throughout the school as the “cents girl”. The day after students saw her helping the principal they began walking up to her to give her cents, she recalled. Up to yesterday, she said, she had about 30 or 40 cents in her pockets weighing them down but she continued to collect from those willing to give.
“She was enthusiastic … and I think it was with the manner in which she did what she was doing that really got the school up and running with this.
“My first donation was a bottle with a small opening so obviously the cents would be jammed in and she took that bottle and started to shake and shake and shake and that stirred up some action. At one point she put her hand akimbo and continued to shake and it was something else.
“I think it was from there that students got into it. From the next day money started flowing, the students just started to bring money; so over that period, even until now, people are still bringing,” the principal said as he applauded the student.
Also taking place this morning at the school was the installation 40 form captains and 40 deputy form captains.