FirstCaribbean International Bank has recognised two individuals for their outstanding and selfless contribution to the community.
Dodie Ebanks and Jacqueline Ebanks were the two finalists for the 2007 Unsung Heroes award. The two were recognised at a celebration at the Warf Restaurant last Thursday, with each receiving US$5,000 from the bank to benefit their individual causes.
Their names will now be added to a regional panel with winners from 16 other countries to be considered for the title of regional hero.
If successful at the regional level, a further donation of US$7,500 is made to individual’s cause. Runners up also benefit from an additional donation of US$5,000.
Dodie Ebanks, described as ‘the lady from West Bay who is always trying to help people’, is known island-wide for her contributions to others.
She first worked with the disabled in the UK, and on her return to the Cayman Islands in 1986 procured a job with the Sunrise Centre, a facility for disabled children.
Dedicating her life to assisting the less fortunate, Ms Ebanks became involved in a number of community-related projects.
She is a founding member of the Cayman Islands Special Olympics and the Cayman Aids Foundation and a past president of the Kiwanis Club.
She has also done voluntary work for the Cayman Islands Cancer Society.
Jacqueline Ebanks has been involved in a number of community projects for the past decade, all geared towards the betterment of youth.
Her decision to assist young persons, especially teens, came about as a result of growing up with her brother – a model student in high school who subsequently turned to alcohol and drugs.
As a result of this and other encounters she has had with youth who have gone astray, Ms Ebanks decided to give of her time and resources to reach out to the youth in the Cayman Islands.
She has been involved in Coaching for Success, a mentorship/youth leadership programme, Cayman Against Substance Abuse, an association aimed at connecting parents, and, recently, the Save our Youth Foundation.
The finalists were chosen from nominations submitted by people in the community who witnessed the works the two had accomplished.
The FirstCaribbean Unsung Heroes programme was conceptualized to acknowledge and honour ordinary people who continue to work selflessly and silently to build their communities.