Rotary Camelot auction goes cabaret

The Rotary Club of Grand Cayman’s biggest annual fundraiser, its Camelot Auction event, will be held on Friday, 22 May, and this year it will have an unusual and entertaining theme.

This year’s event, held at the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, will have a cabaret theme, including special guests Vivendi Cabaret, who will awe the audience with its performances before and after the live auction.

‘This year, we will not only have silent and live auctions with a fantastic four-course dinner, but also entertainment by Vivendi Cabaret and a professional auctioneer from the US,’ said Fundraising Director for the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman, Sebastien Guilbard.

The auction items are also extraordinary this year, including one item that has never been in Cayman before.

‘We will be auctioning the first electric car in Cayman, given by Cayman Automotive,’ Mr. Guilbard revealed.

The night will consist of a champagne reception with a chance for guests to review the silent auction items. Last year, some great bargains were snatched up during the silent auction.

‘Last year, the Mercedes-Benz sold for $10,000 less than retail price,’ said Mr. Guilbard. ‘We also sold two Picasso lithographs. The art we have is not available on island.’

All money raised will go towards beneficial programmes that the Rotary Club helps to fund.

‘We have multiple projects that we do every year, such as the tree lighting, the Boxing Day senior citizens’ luncheon and the Meals on Wheels programme, to which we contribute $50,000 a year,’ said Mr. Guilbard.

‘There are many other projects we like to work on like the Bonaventure Boys’ Home and the Frances Bodden Girls’ Home, which were built by our club a long time ago. We have also sent money to the Brac after Paloma, along with some smaller amounts to Turks and Caicos and Haiti.’

Other fundraising events throughout the year include the golf tournament and the fishing tournament with the Lions Club that raise approximately $20,000, but the Camelot auction remains the Club’s largest fundraiser of the year.

‘We hope to raise over $100,000 to fund all of our projects for the 2009 to 2010 year, which starts in July 2009,’ said Mr. Guilbard. ‘For the next Rotary year, we will continue to support all our projects but also add some.

‘We will target, with our vocational committee, our Cayman youth with grants, scholarships and mentoring. We will also try to work with the Department of Environment to see how we can help to make a greener Cayman, but vocational projects for our youth will be the focus for the next year.’

The amount of planning that the Camelot event requires is extensive. Planning begins a year in advance, said Mr. Guilbard.

‘We make sure the event is secured a year in advance, then the sale of tickets and collection of items, as well as the organisation of the event, is done five to six months prior to the event with the fundraising committee.

‘It takes about six to eight dedicated volunteers to get Camelot organised. We also have the Rotaract Blue club and St. Matthew’s students helping out this year during the auction.’

The event is black tie, though dark suits are allowed, and numbers this year are limited to 320, due to the space requirements needed for Vivendi Cabaret.

‘We have about 150 people committed already and we need another 150 to 170,’ said Mr. Guilbard. ‘We have corporate tables available or just single tickets.’

Tickets are $200 and can be purchased by emailing Mr. Guilbard at [email protected] or by calling him at 326-1014. President Derek Haines can also be contacted for tickets, on 323-0803.