Seeing red, with good cause

Heart Fund’s Red Dress Valentine’s Gala hits all the right notes

Everyone was seeing red – but for all the right reasons.

The Cayman Heart Fund’s recent Red Dress Valentine’s Gala hit all the right notes, with attendance of about 250; the auction of many inspired pieces by local artists; live music by Sea ‘N B and dinner by Chef Lloyd Cremer.

All of this took place at the Westin Casaurina Resort, emceed by Mark Hillier, who encouraged bidders to “be the person who makes a difference.”

During the event, where guests mingled in red dresses (for the most part), danced, enjoyed John Broad’s speed-painting (also auctioned on the evening), and donated money and talent, it was also announced that Butterfield bank had come on board as a major sponsor of the heart fund for 2011.

Though guests were gathered primarily for the social occasion (and to enjoy Chef Cremer’s sauteed Angus beef fillet paired with seared snapper and Bloody Mary shrimp), a presentation reminded all of some serious facts underscoring the need for the Heart Fund:

In the Cayman Islands, 33 per cent of the population will die from heart disease (compared to 20 per cent from cancer).

News of the evening was that Mrs. Soto will be stepping down as chair of the fund- which she started in 1998 – at the end of March, handing over the gavel to David Dinner from Bodden and Bodden.

“It’s time for younger people to be concerned about the heart,” said Mrs. Soto. “It’s time for younger blood.”

Besides, she said, quoting singer Kenny Rogers: You’ve got to know when to hold ‘em and know when to fold ‘em.

Mr. Hillier said the fund, which raised about $20,000 on the evening, aims to bring attention to heart disease and the money goes toward furthering that goal.

Artists who donated pieces to be auctioned were Teresa Grimes, Villence Buchanan, Maureen Lazarus, C.E. Whitney, Suzy Soto, Avril Ward, Gordon Solomon, Cindy Vellinga, Suladdah May, Nick O’Neil and John Broad.

In addition to Butterfield, sponsors include WestStar TV, Kirk Freeport, Celebrations, St. Matthews University students and Caribbean Distributors, among others.

For information, please visit caymanheartfund.com
See more photos in 
Sunday’s Observer.