It was a setting of Hollywood elegance in which Jonathan Tibbetts was awarded YCLA’s 2006 Young Caymanian Leadership Award at the Ritz-Carlton Grand Ballroom Saturday night.
The momentous red carpet occasion also saw four other talented Caymanian individuals – Pearlina McGaw, Rayle Roberts, Jeana Ebanks and Kyle McLean – rise to the occasion.
The gala evening included a reception and dinner, remarks by guest speaker James Caviezel, star of the movie The Passion of the Christ, personal video biographies of each of the five finalists, entertainment by Suzy Q and Sam Deas and a live broadcast of the event by CITN.
Possessing a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Arts degree in education and holding various leadership, management and executive positions in the community, Mr. Tibbetts shared his award with everyone in the society.
‘This award does not belong to me alone but to all Caymanians who love their country and want to see a prosperous future for the children.’
He noted the YCLA finalists did not sit back for someone else to make positive changes, but took the initiative to make the changes themselves.
In his acceptance speech Mr. Tibbets also thanked those who have been a great support and inspiration to him.
Famous for his role in The Passion of the Christ, keynote speaker James Caviezel shared his movie career with those in the audience and lent words of encouragement to the finalists.
‘Every generation needs to know that freedom exists not to do what you like but having the right to do what you ought to. You were not made to fit in, but you were born to stand out. That is the freedom that I wish for you – the freedom to be what you were destined to be.
‘These days it takes courage and persistence and the willingness to fight. You have to be willing to take the hits and still move forward ever determined to do what is just, especially to do what is good,’ he said.
‘You are not here on a perpetual shopping trip or a vacation. We are here to make a contribution to our country, to the world. So don’t be afraid. Do not worry about what people think. Worry about how they will remember you tomorrow.’
YCLA was created to recognise outstanding young Caymanians who make a significant contribution to society and who, through their achievements and actions, serve as positive role models for the youth of Cayman.
Platinum, gold, silver and bronze patrons were also thanked for their support and participation of the YCLA.