For most charitable organizations, $10,000 is a huge amount of money.
So when Jennifer Grant-McCarthy and Halleemah Harling heard their respective groups were to receive a donation of a little over this sum, they were astounded.
‘I was so shocked I almost fell off my chair,’ said Ms Grant-McCarthy, fundraising coordinator for Cayman HospiceCare.
Ms Grant-McCarthy and Ms Harling of The Pines Retirement Home were the beneficiaries of the recent Cayman Free Press Dutch Auction held in conjunction with Eurocar, which donated a convertible Renault Mégane Coupé Cabriolet to the declining auction.
The auction began at $41,000, to coincide with the 41st anniversary of Cayman Free Press, 6 October , 2006.
The price of the car continued to decrease daily until it was purchased for $20,550.
Cayman Hospice Care and The Pines were selected to receive the proceeds, which were equally distributed at $10,275 between the two charities.
‘I didn’t realise we were getting the whole amount. It’s very exciting,’ Ms Grant-McCarthy said.
‘It’s just so amazing and I think it’s a great incentive to other local businesses to start contributing to charities like ours.’
HospiceCare will use the donation to subsidize the day-to-day running of the organisation.
‘This money will be put to very good use,’ Ms Grant-McCarthy said. ‘It is a very welcome surprise for the New Year.’
Ms Harling was also surprised to hear The Pines would receive such a large donation, and was excited about the opportunities the money will present for the organization.
‘It was great. I am so pleased,’ Ms Harling, assistant manager of The Pines, said. ‘Every bit counts, no matter how big, or how small. It will improve the quality of life for our residents.’
Ms Harling said The Pines was a worthy recipient of the contribution, as most people will one day use the services of a retirement home.
Although she was not yet sure how the money will be used, Ms Harling said the donation will probably finance The Pines’ daily operating expenses.
‘We haven’t decided what to do with it yet. We’re still trying to rebuild after the hurricane, or it could be used for the day-to-day running costs,’ she said.
Brian Uzzell, managing director of Cayman Free Press, said the auction is a sign of things to come for the company, which aims to support many Cayman charities in 2007.
Renee Bernardo, owner and general manager of Eurocar, joined forces with Cayman Free Press to donate the car for the auction in an effort to give something back to the Cayman Islands.
‘I wanted to do something good for the community, so Cayman Free Press and Eurocar decided to make it a combined effort,’ Ms Bernardo said.
‘I was really glad when they decided upon The Pines and Cayman Hospice Care as we’re all going to get old someday and we might need these services. They are very deserving organizations.’