Golfers make their way to the next hole during the Eighth Annual Rafe Cochran Golf Classic on April 29 at Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Fla. Twenty-two foursomes participated in the classic to help Cochran expand Brompton Primary School in Brompton, Jamaica, through his work with Food For The Poor. Photo/Food For The Poor

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (May 2, 2024) – Intermittent rain showers did nothing to dampen the excitement of 22 foursomes during the Eighth Annual Rafe Cochran Golf Classic on April 29. All were enthusiastic to help 19-year-old Rafe Cochran, of Palm Beach, Fla., in his work with Food For The Poor (FFTP) to expand an overcrowded school in Jamaica.

Proceeds from the classic, which was held at Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Fla., will fund new construction at Brompton Primary School in Brompton, Jamaica.

“The rain was not a big deal at all. I thought everything went well,” Cochran said. “Everyone was super invested in the cause, and we had a great day. We raised a good amount of money to help Brompton Primary School, and that was our goal.”

Brompton Primary School is the seventh school in Jamaica that Cochran has helped expand through FFTP. Part of Jamaica’s Saint Elizabeth Parish, Brompton is home to more than 3,700 people. Most residents are farmers, while others are skilled tradesmen or public sector workers.

In its current condition, Brompton Primary School does not have space to accommodate its 499 students and is susceptible to flooding in heavy rain. Built primarily of wood, the school is crumbling in disrepair, and substantial structural rot brought on by water intrusion is creating a safety hazard for students and staff. Proceeds from the classic will fund the construction of four additional classrooms, an administrative unit and guidance counselor’s office, and a staff restroom.

“Rafe is a rare individual whose compassion and wisdom are not limited by age, which is reflected in his personal motto: ‘You are never too young to take action and to make a difference,’” FFTP President/CEO Ed Raine said. “We all marvel at his heartfelt generosity and commitment to changing lives through education, and we’re so grateful for his longstanding support of Food For The Poor.”

Cochran began making a name in the golfing world when he was 6. At age 9, he became one of FFTP’s youngest donors, raising money to build 10 homes in Haiti and six schools in Jamaica.

From the beginning, his parents, Jay and Diahann Cochran, have been 100 percent behind him.

“Rafe is very passionate about his charity event and his goal to help provide education to students in Jamaica, now and for generations to come,” Diahann Cochran said. “When he puts his mind to something, he stays focused and determined whether it’s this event, his studies, or golf. We are very proud of him, and we will continue to support him however we can.” 

Cochran’s mission resonates with all the golfers and sponsors who participated in the classic, including David Lauder, a wealth advisor at Bessemer Trust, one of the event sponsors at the classic.

“We’ve been supporting this event since 2016, ever since Rafe organized it, because it’s a wonderful cause,” Lauder said. “Rafe is a fine young man, and he realizes that he has the ability to not just live a great life, but to serve and enhance the lives of many other people. And that’s what he’s doing here.”

Like Lauder, many participants are drawn to the classic through a personal or golfing connection with Cochran and his family. They are moved by his commitment to helping improve the lives of the less fortunate.

“He’s a young person affecting change, and you usually don’t see someone that age so considerate of other people,” said Jeff Lincoln, a longtime family friend. “He believes it’s a good thing to give back and do what you can to help. He’s always been a thoughtful person.”

Cochran’s commitment was evident during the awards ceremony at the end of the tournament. He thanked event sponsors, donors, and golfers for their support and reiterated his belief that giving students access to education in a safe environment is the best way to lift them out of poverty.

“The words of Nelson Mandela have always resonated for me: ‘Education is the most powerful weapon in which you can use to change the world,’” he said. “I feel that in order to change the landscape of a country, one must provide education in that country.”

With this year’s golf classic now behind him, Cochran is setting his sights on continuing to improve his golf game and focusing on his studies this fall at Emory University in Atlanta, where he will be a freshman and a member of the golf team. The distance will not stop him from continuing his work with FFTP on behalf of children needing access to education.

“Food For The Poor is an incredible organization,” Cochran said. “And I am honored to be part of it.”

There is still time to join Cochran and his supporters in raising funds for Brompton Primary School. To learn more, visit foodforthepoor.org/rafe.

Premier Event Sponsors: The Coors Foundation and Susan Phipps Cochran; Event Sponsors: Bessemer Trust and Ron and Dolores Romeo; Food & Beverage Sponsors: Braman Porsche West Palm Beach and American Dream Corp.; Hole & Tee Sponsors: Richard Koppelman, American Dream Corp., Mint Eco Car Wash, Ronald and Leslie Schram, The Giangrande Foundation, Vernon Westfall, Barefoot Monkey, Inc., Orbit, GT Motor Cars, The Matthew R. Cohen & Family Foundation, Prodos Capital, Sol W & Hermina Cantor Foundation, James and Vivian MacMorris, and Robert Netkin; Caddy Sponsor: Spencer Partrich; and Gift Bag Sponsors: Dwight C. and Martha Schar and Emar Associates Insurance

Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development organizations in the nation, does much more than feed millions of hungry children and families living in poverty primarily in 15 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, water, medicine, educational materials, homes, support for vulnerable children, care for the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance. For more information, please visit foodforthepoor.org.


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