Dodie Ebanks, one of Cayman’s finalists in the 2007 Unsung Heroes programme of FirstCaribbean International Bank, has chosen to share her US$5,000 prize with the Cayman Islands Cancer Society.
The funds will be used to help provide financial grants to cancer patients with their treatment-related expenses.
‘Ms Dodie is an inspiration to all cancer survivors and other persons in the community and we sincerely thank her for so graciously donating her award to the Society so that others can benefit from it,’ Christine Sanders, General Manager of the CICS, said in a press release. ‘We also applaud FirstCaribbean for this programme that recognises individuals such as Ms Dodie.’
Unsung Heroes began in 2003 to promote Caribbean pride through the examples and work of the ‘unsung heroes’ across the region. ‘The Unsung Heroes programme is designed to identify individuals within the community who carry out their good work without consideration for reward or acclaim,’ explained Elvis Coward, Associate Director of Compliance at FirstCaribbean.
‘Two finalists are chosen based on nominations submitted by the general public, which are reviewed by a panel of judges consisting of three FirstCaribbean staff and three prominent individuals within the community and led by the local Co-coordinator from the bank.’
Ms Dodie has volunteered for the Cancer Society for a number of years, lending her support to fundraising drives and other major CICS events.
‘She has always supported our programmes and encouraged other organisations to take advantage of the services we offer, particularly our youth education programmes,’ said Ms Sanders.
Ms Dodie first worked with the disabled in the UK. On her return to the Cayman Islands in 1986, she procured a job with the Sunrise Centre, a facility for disabled kids.
At that time these kids were not generally accepted within the community and were subject to unpleasant stares whenever they were in public. As a result of this treatment of these individuals, Ms Dodie decided to dedicate her life to assisting the less fortunate within the community and hence became involved in a number of community-related projects.
She was a founding member of the Cayman Islands Special Olympics, the Cayman Aids Foundation, and managed a number of projects for the Kiwanis club.
Ms Dodie has been described as ‘the lady from West Bay who is always trying to help people.’