The small staff of 16 at Hurley’s Entertainment is a dedicated bunch.
With a packed social calendar of signature events that the company’s radio stations – Z99 and Rooster 101 – created and support each year, staff members are consistently hands-on, including owner Randy Merren, who can be seen flipping burgers at a fundraising barbecue or out at sea at the annual Rooster Shootout fishing contest.
The ideas for many of the creative events also come from the staff.
‘We have a really amazing staff and we just share ideas and put a twist on them,’ explained Hurley’s Entertainment Sales Manager Cheryl Birch. ‘We bring ideas from overseas that have worked, like my dad was a Rotarian back in Canada and his club have comedy nights, so we thought of putting on the Laughin’ for Hope comedy night for the Cancer Society.’
At Halloween time, the company purchases candy for the stores in Grand Harbour, and kids can go store to store for free and receive free treats.
‘The Haunted Harbour trick-or-treat started after Hurricane Ivan,’ Ms Birch said. ‘Randy is part of the community and he likes to give back,’ Ms Birch said.
Operations Manager for Hurley’s Entertainment, JB Webb, added that this year is special as it is Z99’s 16th birthday.
‘The actual birthday party is 26 September at T.I. Lobby Bar,’ said Mr. Webb. ‘There will be lots of cake, DJ and live entertainment. Sixteen major prizes are being given away, including a Mercedes-Benz car.’
Specific events that the company created or supported this year include the well-attended concert, Brac Aid, which was held in Camana Bay in January to raise money for Brac relief in the months following Hurricane Paloma.
Petapalooza, in aid of the Humane Society, moved to Grand Harbour this year and Hurley’s Entertainment threw its support behind the event, resulting in its organisers exceeding their fundraising goals.
The Cancer Society and the Humane Society are two of the biggest beneficiaries from Hurley’s Entertainment’s signature events, and the leaders at both non-profit organisations both expressed their gratitude to the company for all its efforts.
‘I can’t say how much we appreciate all of the effort that the entire Hurley’s Entertainment team has made in the past to help the Humane Society raise much-needed funds,’ said Carolyn Parker, president of the Cayman Islands Humane Society.
‘They are a dedicated bunch of animal-lovers and we enjoy their spirit when it comes to fundraising for a good cause. The events they have supported have always generated outstanding public support.’
Christine Sanders, chief operating officer of the Cayman Islands Cancer Society, echoed Ms Parker’s sentiments.
‘Hurley’s Entertainment has worked closely with the Cayman Islands Cancer Society for more than 10 years and … they have been a committed sponsor of many of our fundraising events, including Stride Against Cancer and Laughin’ for Hope each year,’ said Ms Sanders.
‘We are looking forward to working with the entire team from Hurley’s Entertainment for Haunted Harbour this year. A big thank you to everyone there for their commitment to the Cayman Islands Cancer Society – their support is invaluable.’
Ice on Ice, a cocktail event that raises funds for the Cayman Islands Cancer Society, takes place on Wednesday, 16 September at the Westin.
‘One hundred per cent of the ticket’s proceeds go to the Cancer Society, so we are very reliant on sponsors for this event,’ said Ms Birch.
This year’s theme for the event’s decor is black and white, but Mr. Webb added that people shouldn’t feel limited by that.
‘It’s not a dress code, people can come wearing what colours they like. We love that we get a mixed crowd,’ he said.
With live entertainment by Mainstream and a OneWorld Entertainment DJ onsite, all guests will have the chance to win a door prize of a trip for two to Westin Harbour Island resort in Tampa, Florida, including airfare.
‘Every attendee gets a ‘rocktini’,’ said Ms Birch, ‘which, this year, is a razzle-dazzle cocktail made with raspberry Bacardi.’
Each cocktail has an ice cube with a cubic zirconium inside. If it’s a square cubic zirconium, the drinker has won a half-carat diamond – there are four to give away, donated by Island Companies.
‘Jason, the chef at the Westin, creates a great appetiser menu for us each year,’ said Ms Birch, ‘and Every Bloomin’ Thing always do an amazing job with the decor. This is just a fun, mingling event.’
‘We truly appreciate them organising the Ice on Ice event and donating 100 per cent of all ticket sales to the Society to fund the many cancer prevention and detection programmes that we offer, as well as providing assistance to cancer patients with their medical expenses. Ice on Ice has become a much-anticipated event in Cayman’s social calendar.
Below is a calendar of other signature events that the radio stations put on each year.
The ever-popular Polar Plunge will be in its 13th year next January.
‘It was first held on a Friday evening and now it’s a huge all-day event,’ said Mr. Webb.
Love Stinks, the ultimate anti-Valentine’s party, took place at the Hard Rock Cafe last year. In 2010, the event will raise funds for the Humane Society, but Ms Birch is staying mum for now on its theme.
For St. Patrick’s Day, Z99 celebrates with Hands on the Blarney Stone at Aqua Beach. The popular event is now in its eighth year.
The company’s annual Easter egg hunt has been going on for seven years and is free for all participants.
‘Funds are raised from the barbecue and will go to DARE this year, though each year it’s different,’ Ms Birch said.
The event began at Pedro St. James and then scaled down and was held at Every Bloomin’ Thing. It was moved to Dart Park and then Camana Bay picked it up. The event continues to grow, and next year will be its eighth year.
Laughin’ for Hope is an event in its third year, and took place this April. It raises funds for the Cancer Society.
‘We work with a fantastic promoter for this and he brings us some amazing names down on a small budget,’ said Ms Birch.
This year, Hurley’s Entertainment created Jerk Fest and raised $1,800 for the NCVO.
‘We want to make this an annual event,’ said Ms Birch.
Yappy Hour and dog wash at Coconut Joe’s will take place on Saturday, 19 September and the proceeds go to the Humane Society.
‘There are other Yappy Hours throughout the year but this is the one endorsed by us that is really big,’ said Ms Birch. ‘They serve the dogs specially-made ‘dog cake’ and the owners get specials on muttinis and muttslides.’
Dodge Ball benefits the Rugby Club and this year, the event’s third, it will be held at Camana Bay on Saturday, 3 October.
‘We mostly get corporate teams out competing, and we pay the Rugby Club a fee to provide their referees for the matches,’ said Ms Birch.
Haunted Harbour is the free trick-or-treating event that Hurley’s Entertainment puts on every Halloween.
‘I just put in a huge order for candy the other day,’ said Ms Birch.
This year the event will be even bigger, because an extended Haunted Harbour with a haunted house staffed by Cancer Society volunteers will be open from 28 to 31 October.
The Monster Bash, which is in its third year, is another Halloween event that Z99 puts on. It takes place at Treasure Island.
The Purple Ribbon Pledge is in its 15th year and is the longest-running signature event of Hurley’s Entertainment. It asks drivers to take a pledge not to drink and drive, particularly during the holiday season.
What Women Want, an expo in its seventh year, is scheduled to take place on Thursday, 26 November this year.
‘This is a free event that will be held at the Westin this year, because we consistently sell out at the Marriott and have vendors out on the landing,’ said Ms Birch. ‘It’s a great feel-good event and a kick-off for the Christmas shopping season.’