CCMI gala a rousing success

The Central Caribbean Marine Institute’s gala dinner and auction last Saturday was a festive affair by all accounts.

The event at Camana Bay was enjoyed by all who attended, including Governor Duncan Taylor and his wife, Marie-Beatrice.

This year, CCMI partnered with Celebrations, Camana Bay, and the restaurants of Camana Bay — Abacus, Michael’s Genuine Food and Drink, Ortanique, The Black Trumpet and Cayman Distributors.

The dinner was held in a glassed-in space overlooking Camana Bay’s harbour and desert island, and the room was transformed into a dining hall, lounge area and entrance hallway and silent auction display by the designers at Celebrations, JoAnne Brown and Pascale Gillon.

Guests were greeted with a welcome cocktail and canapés and browsed the auction items before heading into dinner, which began with an introductory film and a few words from CCMI president Carrie Manfrino and a toast by the Governor.

As for the dinner, each restaurant provided one of the five courses. Frosted Robin cupcakes sealed the perfect dinner deal with delicious mini cupcakes, one or two of which were taken home for guests’ children (or so they said).

CCMI Chairman Peter Hillenbrand did a star turn as auctioneer, and the evening soon built into a competitive fury of bidding.

The money raised will go toward the upkeep of CCMI’s Little Cayman Research Station and support for the ocean literacy sea camps that are held there. It will also help with the funding of CCNI’s resident scientist position.

The gala dinner’s committee chair, Joanna Humphries, said: “Saturday evening surpassed all of our expectations. We had a beautifully festive room filled with stunning trees and extraordinary people. We are most grateful to His Excellency the Governor and Mrs. Taylor for attending, as well as our incredibly generous guests.

“We couldn’t have had such a successful evening without the support of Camana Bay, Celebrations, Abacus, The Black Trumpet, Michael’s Genuine and Ortanique and Cayman Distributors, not to mention all of the wonderful volunteers who assisted in many different ways.”

Mr. Hillenbrand added: “This event rocked. The food was fantastic, the service impeccable, the drinks delectable, and the silent and live auctions were fun and successful. Thanks so much to every organization and volunteer who made this happen.

“Organisations like CCMI cannot survive without support from local enthusiasts and organisations who support the cause. Thanks to all. Next year’s will be even bigger and better.“

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