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This fundraiser ended on 02/29/12

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Help us raise money to aid our first event! Power Forward would never have come into existence had it not been for the generous spirit of Coach Kent Thomas. During the fall of 1997, one of Coach Thomas’ players left the Hannibal- LaGrange University basketball program. Coach Thomas contacted a scout friend who ran basketball camps in Haiti to find a new player for the team. From his friend, he heard about a talented young basketball player in Haiti named Robert Joseph. Coach Kent Thomas and Hannibal Lagrange University in Missouri helped secure Robert a full basketball scholarship.

Not speaking a word of English, Robert started school at Hannibal in January of 1998, playing on the school’s team. According to Coach Thomas, “Robert was a coach’s dream.” Robert played for the team for three years. His fourth year, he played for Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. Impressed with Robert, the coach at Union called on Robert to scout for "another Robert Joseph." In July 1999, Robert went to Haiti to and saw Pierre Valmera, who later became a founder of Power Forward International, playing in a tournament in Port au Prince. Pierre was recruited to play for Union University, where he was accepted with a full scholarship in 2002.

Grateful for the education and the many opportunities he received in the United States, Pierre decided that the best way for him to give back was to help other young Haitians in the same way he had been assisted. To date, Pierre has brought 12 Haitians to the United States, with the generosity and help of the schools and universities that provided scholarships. In 2011, with the help of his fellow board members, Pierre Valmera founded Power Forward International, Inc. (PFII), a nonprofit that will expand on the work that he has been doing for the past seven years. While Pierre had done much of the recruiting by himself, he felt that with the help and talents of others he would be able to accomplish much more.
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