Recently, Mr. David Foster was one of two individuals awarded a simple shawl by the William Pouchie Memorial United Church in North Side in recognition of his generosity to the church.
This act by the church reminded me to follow through on an earlier resolve to do something which Mr. Foster, or the Foster Group of companies, would never do themselves – talk publicly about their generosity.
I would like to highlight one particular act of obvious sincere generosity (out of the countless many) which will be instantly recognized by the majority of Cayman’s prominent, affluent and influential individuals from all walks of life who share the common need – desire for Foster’s food products.
This year, the traditional Foster’s New Year’s Day Customer Appreciation Reception did not happen. This event, which grew from a small get-together lasting a few hours in Mr. Foster’s living room, to the most sought after island all day social event on the lawns of the charming Pedro Castle, was cancelled without notice. This ‘premier’ event was severely missed by many especially myself.
The reception has always been an ideal setting and atmosphere to comfortably meet and visit with family, friends, acquaintances, neighbours, work mates, church brothers and sisters, physicians, civil servants and lawyers among others. Even Foster’s competitors attend, which helps to maintain that fast disappearing Caymanian ability to separate business, politics and religion from pleasure. The party was always unsurpassed by the copious supply of gourmet and local food, any drink one could desire, music and even a play area for kids. Fosters took no short cuts in thanking their customers. As the saying goes – ‘it seldom got better that that!’
The cancellation of the reception I erroneously thought, was due to Foster’s focusing their resources to rebuild their extensively hurricane damaged stores. I am aware of Mr. Foster’s resolve to keep proven traditions alive such as his record of perfect attendance at Rotary but I also know how powerful Hurricane Ivan was. It was only on expressing my disappointment on the non happening that I learned from Woody Foster the reason why the New Year’s reception was cancelled. I am convinced that not everyone knows the reason and I hope this letter will fill that blank.
Foster’s decided to cancel the reception and donate all the funds they would have used for it to the Ministry of Education to help in restoring hurricane damaged class rooms.
I was most impressed at the decision and would have immediately contributed to the school fund an imputed cost of the ‘all inclusive free invitation’ I customarily received but for this year. What a cause! What an act of nationalism! What a force of example! I maintain were the Foster’s less modest and appealed to their customers to join them in helping the Ministry to rebuild the schools by donating their estimated value of the ‘non-invitation,’ thousands more dollars would have been rolled in.
It is my hope this act of unselfish generosity will be used as an example by all of us and especially the more well off professionals who have recently been granted status and no longer have to pay annual work permit fees and more importantly, who now have a vested interest in the future of the country, the future of society and the island’s infrastructure.
Think on these things when next you go grocery shopping. I do.