They came in their hundreds and spent in their thousands. The recession has hit every strata of Cayman society but at least this event was not too badly affected.
The annual Cayman Islands Little League Association’s auction needed to gross over $100,000 to help maintain the programme that allows 500-plus kids to play for free at the Field of Dreams.
And thanks to the generosity of the 300 who attended the ‘Spitz and Glitz’ event at Camana Bay’s ARC on Saturday, they achieved that target.
The highlight of the live auction undoubtedly was an original copy of the new Cayman Islands constitution, personally signed for Little League by Governor Stuart Jack, Premier McKeeva Bush and Leader of the Opposition Kurt Tibbetts.
This beautifully presented piece of history was one of only three of its kind and the only such copy available to the public.
The bidding was fast and intense as expected and eclipsed the four-figure range in a matter of seconds, and in the end, it was Jude and Melinda Scott who took home this rare memento with a winning bid of $17,000.
“This was by far the best, classiest and biggest profit item in our auction’s history,” said auction organiser Sara Mackay who deserves a lot of credit for making it such a success.
“The timing of having it in our auction was just perfect, the interest level was higher than we imagined and the bidding added this tremendous buzz to the evening.
‘I thought the whole thing did Cayman and Little League quite proud. We are also so happy to know that the Constitution is going to an excellent home.
‘Most important to us is that we provided items of a variety of prices and interests and that people felt they had a good, fun night in support of a good cause, the kids of Cayman. We struggled a bit for attendance with the holiday weekend, but I think we delivered good value.’
There were many more big ticket items that went for astonishing prices.
The Mackay family made more than an administrative contribution as Sara’s husband Peter bought the Volkswagen Tiguan donated by Arch Auto for $31,000. He also splashed out on at least one purchase. He bought a Hank Aaron autographed photo of a hit for $1,000.
Also on auction was a David Beckham signed Manchester United jersey, a Shaquille O’Neal signed jersey and Derek Jeter autographed glove.
There was plenty of other generous spending including a $25,000 straight cash donation from Five Continents Financial. Scott Elphinstone and Bill Messer should take credit for that.
Cayman Islands Little League Association Chairman J.C. Calhoun noted that the National Council of Voluntary Organisations was holding its fundraising even the same evening, and said the Little League’s board of directors felt bad the auction ended up on the same day. Attendees were asked if they would make a contribution to the NCVO, and $1,800 was raised for that cause.
Calhoun deservedly got the George Rivers Award for his many years of devotion to Little League here. He actually started the whole thing 20 years ago.
Another highlight of the evening was a baseball-themed dance routine performed by nine little leaguers to the music of You’ve Gotta Have Heart.