‘Lean on Me’ presents proceeds

Members of the ‘Lean on Me’ Committee responsible for the recent fund-raising concert presented proceeds to The Pines Retirement Home, HospiceCare and Mr. Errol ‘Skanky’ Grant, who is recovering from male breast cancer.

After a phenomenal debut in 2007, the committee may have suffered sophomore slump this year, but members were not totally disappointed.

Concert attendance in 2007 was around 3,000. This year, paid attendance was closer to 1,000.

Chairman Derri Lee reported that, as a result of that first concert, the committee was able to present singer Nina Orrett with $18,000 to help her after surgery to remove a brain tumour.

‘Nina is known and loved throughout the Cayman Islands and there was tremendous support for our efforts on her behalf,’ Derri said. ‘Skanky is a popular entertainer, but he is not as well known outside the entertainment industry.’

Another problem was the increase in expenditures. Some goods and services donated last year, or given at substantial discount, had to be paid for at a higher rate than had been anticipated. Financial contributions were also down.

After accounts were checked by an outside auditor, the committee was able to present Skanky with a cheque for $1,500. The Pines and HospiceCare each received $500, along with 23 cases of water and juice.

‘We have learned a lot,’ said Derri. A major goal for 2009 is determining how to keep expenses down.

In non-financial terms, the committee could congratulate itself on other objectives achieved. One important aspect of the concert is the showcasing of new talent. The number of young and energetic performers who took part in the ‘Lean on Me’ concert showed the need for such exposure opportunities.

Also impressive was the effort to educate people about cancer and the unlikely but real incidence of male breast cancer.