Olympic fundraiser nets $100,000

A Cayman Islands Olympic Fundraising Committee event held on the Great Lawn at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman recently raised some US$100,000 for Cayman’s elite athletes.

The event, called A Gourmet Tour around the World, featured booths with the cultural cuisine of various countries provided by 11different Cayman restaurants.

CIOFC Chairperson Betty Baraud called the event a success.

‘I am extremely pleased by the overall support from the community,’ she said ‘Everyone has been incredibly generous and supportive.’

The money raised at the event will benefit the athletes competing at the Pan Am Games in Brazil this summer, which are also the qualifying games for the 2008 Olympics in China.

Speaking during the evening, Cayman Islands Olympic Committee President Donald McLean said the Olympic movement was not just about sports.

‘The CIOC is charged with promoting the fundamental principles and values of Olympianism in the Cayman Islands,’ he said. ‘The object is to use sports to foster peace, understanding and cooperation among people of all ethnic, social and religious backgrounds [and] to use sports and fair play to empower youth and turn them into responsible and productive adults and subsequently outstanding members of the community.’

Arek Joseph served as the master of ceremonies for the evening and he handled the live auction that took place after dinner.

The prize auction item of the night was a trip for two to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, which was won by Mrs. Baraud.

Live entertainment was provided during the evening by the band After Dark.

Also speaking during the evening was Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Sports Angela Martins.

But it was the food that made the night.

Participating restaurants included The Ritz-Carlton, Bacchus Restaurant and Wine Bar, Boatswain’s Beach, Harvey’s Islands Grill, Icoa, Mise-en-Place, Ristorante Papagallo, Senor Frogs, Solona at Marriott Grand Cayman, Thai Orchid and The Triple Crown.

Ms Baraud thanked the event sponsors and the community for supporting the event, which was sold out.

‘We would especially like to thank the restaurants that participated,’ she said. ‘Their contribution to the event was just amazing and the evening would not have happened without their incredible support.’

The evening began with an al fresco cocktail reception hosted by Admiral Administration. Later there was a parade of past Cayman Olympians,

Two more CIOFC fundraisers are planned for this year, one in the summer and the other in December.