UK friends boost Island funds

They may be thousands of miles away
but they are still extremely supportive of Cayman’s athletes.

Friends of Cayman in London hosted
an event at the House of Commons, Westminster last week to raise funds for
Cayman Islands athletes who will be attending the Island Games in the Isle of
Wight next year.

The Isle of Wight is just off the
coast of the south of England. Last year it was held in Aland, near Finland.

The fundraising event was a dinner
and auction in the Members Dining Room. The sponsoring MP was Graham Brady,
Secretary of the Cayman Islands All Party Parliamentary Group, and the
Auctioneer was Felix Francis, son of the late Dick Francis, a long-term
resident of Grand Cayman.

The 80 guests were drawn from
membership of Friends of Cayman and included representatives from legal and
accountancy firms, banking, construction and development, shipping, PR and
tourism. 

Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the
opportunity of dining in such historic surroundings.

Brady welcomed the guests to the
Houses of Parliament in a short address. John Owen, Chairman of Friends of
Cayman, was the host for the evening. 

He read out a message of
appreciation from Richard Parchment, Chairman of the Cayman Islands Island
Games Association, which also provided some background information about the
Island Games Association and Cayman’s involvement in the Games.  

He explained that as a result of
exposure at this level of competition, some athletes will go on to compete in
the Commonwealth and Olympic Games. Two of them could be the Morgan twins,
Carlos and Carl who are long jumpers and sprinters.  

Owen thanked staff of the London
Office for their work in organising the event.

There were a number of young people
present who had participated in previous Island Games; Lizzy Haines and Kaitlyn
Elphinstone told the guests how much it meant to them to be able to participate
in the Games, to broaden horizons, to work towards a goal, put in their best performance
and above all to be part of a team representing Cayman.

There were six auction items and
Felix Francis did a splendid job of encouraging and cajoling the guests to
pledge their support. 

The total sum raised from the event
is expected to be in the region of £18,000 (roughly CI$ 22,000).

 Owen said: “ This was a most successful
evening. The amount of money raised has exceeded my expectations and I am most
grateful to all the Friends of Cayman and their guests, who so generously
supported this event.

“In my role
as a Deputy Lieutenant of the County of Isle of Wight I look forward to
welcoming the Cayman Islands Games team to the Isle of Wight in 2011.”

Auction
items were provided by Felix Francis, Carol Owen MBE, Shane Aquart, Caybrew,
Cayman Islands Department of Tourism and Cayman Airways.

SPORTSfriendsSTORY

Friends of Cayman, from left, Bruce Dinwiddy, John Owen, Kaitlyn Elphinstone, Lizzy Haines, Felix Francis, Graham Brady, Mary Chandler-Allen.
Photo: Submitted
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