Red Cross honours volunteers

Ken Crowley was named Cayman Islands Red Cross volunteer of the year for 2010 at a recent event honouring all volunteers and other supporters, as the local organisation celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Among the attendees at the event at the Cayman Islands Turtle Farm on 15 January was Gov. Duncan Taylor, a patron of the Red Cross, and his wife, Marie Beatrice.

Volunteers were honoured for their broad range of contributions, reaching beyond the four major programmes into areas such as fundraising, administrative support, and volunteer development, Red Cross officials said.

Because of budget constraints due to the global economic downturn, the CIRC and its volunteers added fundraising for the Haiti earthquake relief efforts to its local fundraising strategies. While the funds were more limited in 2010 compared to previous years, the CIRC still was able to deliver all its community programmes to the most vulnerable in Cayman while also raising nearly US$500,000 for Haiti relief efforts.

“Our volunteers did it all in 2010 – they painted, they collected funds, they filled sandbags, they participated in campaigns, they served as “casualties” and responders in the CIAA emergency exercise, they did assessments, they offered first aid- name it and they did it, willingly, smiling, asking “what’s next?”

“It is inspiring to work with a group of people whose capacity for selflessness seems limitless,” said Deputy Director, Carolina Ferreira.

Over the course of the past four years the CI Red Cross has lost a tremendous number of key, highly trained and committed volunteers due to Cayman’s rollover policy.

“There are only five staff members and over 200 volunteers at the CI Red Cross,” said Director Jondo Obi. “Of those 200, about 75 are extremely active, meaning that they are volunteering on a weekly to bi-weekly basis. Unlike other organisations, the Red Cross does not hold weekly meetings, so these are persons who are coming to either do work or get trained.”

Saturday’s event was aimed at appreciating all who contributed, recognising those who went above and beyond with the gold certificate of achievement, honouring the specific programme award recipients, and naming the new Volunteer of the Year for 2010.

Since the creation of the Volunteer of the Year award in 2006 all recipients have been chosen unanimously by the staff of the Red Cross.

The Red Cross said Mr. Crowley, the Volunteer of the Year 2010 recipient, has been an active member of the CIRC since 2007. “As an important member of the First Aid Programme, Mr. Crowley worked his way up from First Aider to Instructor and has been essential in assisting the First Aid Programme Manager, Peter Hughes, in delivering this life-saving training, not only to the Red Cross volunteers, but also to the community at large,” according to a press release.

“On top of his training duties, he continues to be an active first aider, volunteering his time and skills to such staple community events as the Flower’s Sea Swim and the Cayman Islands Marathon, among others. He is also an active member of the disaster management programme, and has assisted in numerous fundraising activities, such as the annual golf tournament.”

Other 2010 award recipients are:

Dalton Nelson- Disaster Management Volunteer of the Year

Sidella Facey (Cayman Brac Chapter)- First Aid Instructor of the Year

Martha Flores- First Aid Volunteer of the Year

Estella Martin- Thrift Shop Most Supportive Award

Curtel Brown- Thrift Shop All Around Support Award

Rodan Asuncion- Thrift Shop Community Projects Award

Kelley Verwey- Volunteer Management Award

Paulette Gayle- Fundraising Award

Raven Ramoon- Office Administration Award

Anette Bodden- (Cayman Brac Chapter) Brac Support Award

The CI Red Cross thanked all of its volunteers, supporters, sponsors and partners for helping its ongoing commitment to the most vulnerable populations of the Cayman Islands.

For more information, or to get involved, please contact the Cayman Islands Red Cross at 949-6785 ext 26 or 27 or [email protected]