Through the generosity of some friends of the Cayman Islands, presents and gifts from as far away as Toledo, Ohio will be added to the gifts distributed in the Noah’s Ark Travelling Christmas Celebration to the children of Grand Cayman this Christmas.
This initiative began as Greg & Ann Locher, friends of local residents Chris and Nikki McCoy, visited the McCoy’s on their way through Grand Cayman to Little Cayman.
Having visited numerous times in the past, the Lochers are avid divers with McCoy’s Lodge and land owners in Little Cayman, they were shocked and saddened by the level of devastation and destruction they witnessed on Grand Cayman.
Upon returning to Toledo, Ohio the Lochers were compelled to do something to help the people of the Cayman Islands.
Greg Locher, a fire fighter and Ann, a registered nurse, both have experience dealing with disaster and crisis’ similar to what the Cayman Islands faced in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan and are well aware that gifts and toys for children might not be feasible for some families given the need for extensive repairs to residential properties in the wake of such a disaster.
They set up a toy drive in November appealing to other friends of the Cayman Islands who had been here to dive or visit the islands and this appeal touched the hearts of many, who contributed. Their local dive shop Aqua Hut owned by Jeff Davis, along with friends Cindy Fisher, Peter Wayson, Mark & Linda Hertzfield and Mike Wolever amongst others, participated and helped to raise the money to purchase the approximately 300 toys.
Federal Express in Toledo, Ohio participated by shipping all the toys to the Cayman Islands free of cost.
The Lochers have worked in conjunction with Peter Milburn of the Red Cross to donate the toys to Red Cross who in turn has donated them to the ‘Noah’s Ark Travelling Christmas Celebration,’ to ensure that they will be distributed to the children on Grand Cayman who were affected by the hurricane.
‘We are pleased to have such tremendous effort put forward by the Lochers and their friends, including Aqua Hut dive shop and Fedex,’ remarked Peter Milburn, Chairman of the Red Cross. ‘This remarkably kind initiative will assist us in providing the local children with presents at this special holiday time. We are truly grateful for all their efforts and in combination with the Noah’s Ark organizers we are delighted to contribute and assist.’