Stay-Focused Cayman and the Sunrise Adult Training Centre teamed up to provide four Sunrise trainees the trip of a lifetime – a fast-paced, three-day trip to New York City.
Roger Muller, founder and president of Stay-Focused, Roberta Gordon, director of sunrise and a director of Stay-Focused Cayman, and Mary Fortney a member of the Sunrise staff, accompanied Anita Ebanks, Roland Ebanks, Mackie Smith and Tessa Terry on their fun-filled adventure.
The group arrived at JFK airport in New York last Wednesday night on a direct, non-stop flight provided by Cayman Airways.
Mr. Muller met the group at JFK and took them to the New York Marriott East Hotel in midtown Manhattan.
Following breakfast on Thursday morning, the group took an open-air bus tour of midtown and got off the bus at the Empire State Building. When the group arrived on the 86th floor, King Kong greeted them (and slightly intimidated at least one in the group) with open arms!
Next stop was Macy’s for some shopping where both Roland and Mackie picked up a nice pair of work boots. Then an early pizza dinner was followed by a performance of Stomp.
Friday morning started with breakfast at Raffle’s, a New York-style restaurant where the food comes at you fast, then off for a 75-minute Circle Line boat tour down the Hudson River to the Statue of Liberty and back.
Next stop was the Central Park Zoo where the group had lunch before touring the Tropical Rain Forest and observing monkeys, polar bears and lots of penguins. From the zoo, it was a short walk to an awaiting carriage for a horse-drawn carriage ride through Central Park.
Then off to the Apple store on Fifth Avenue and FAO Schwarz. Amazingly, the group had enough energy to walk down Fifth Avenue back to the hotel with stops at the Disney store, St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Rockefeller Center. Dinner that evening was at Jekyll and Hyde, where mummies and strange characters surrounded them.
On Saturday, the group set off for the Museum of Natural History for a private tour of the Hall of Oceans and an IMAX presentation on Sea Monsters.
Without doubt, the highlight of the trip was the evening’s performance of Disney’s Lion King. In sixth-row orchestra seats, the trainees experienced the show in all its full glory and pageantry.
An early Sunday morning flight on Cayman Airways brought the group back to Cayman with the music from Lion King still ringing in their heads. The group was greeted by Paul Drake, Managing Director, Genesis Trust & Corporate Services Ltd. and one of the trips sponsors, holding 52 brightly-coloured balloons.
Also on hand were Julian Black, a partner at Walkers and another of the trip’s sponsors, parents and friends. From the smiles on their faces and the New York City hats and ‘I love New York’ teddy bears, it was apparent to all the group had thoroughly enjoyed their action-packed trip to the Big Apple.
The trip created wonderful memories and created meaningful take-aways for everyone. ‘I learned a lot from the experience and enjoyed seeing the smiles on their faces,’ said Mr. Muller. I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to provide the trainees this experience and thank our generous Cayman sponsors for their support of this new initiative, Cayman Airways, GreenlightRE, Genesis Trust & Corporate Services Ltd., and Walkers.
Sunrise Director Roberta Gordon said: ‘The greatest thing about the trip for me was to watch how the trainees reacted to all the new situations.
‘This was such a totally different world for them. For five days, their lives were turned upside down and they loved it.’