This year’s glitzy Breast Cancer Foundation Gala Dinner broke its own fundraising record when attendees contributed more than $150,000 to the charity.
According to Heather McLaughlin, administrator of the foundation, that is likely not the final figure as money is still coming in.
“So far, it’s in excess of $150,000. That’s a record,” she said. Last year’s gala raised $118,350, and as of 31 December, 2011, the Breast Cancer Foundation had cash reserves of more than $300,000.
Celebrity guests Giuliana and Bill Rancic proved a huge draw for event this year and tickets sold out within days. The couple also auctioned off an “experience” item of visiting several television shows to four guests at the event, each of whom paid $9,500, for a total of $38,000.
Despite the record donations through ticket sales, sponsorship and auction bids at the 29 September gala dinner, Ms McLaughlin urged people not to forget that the foundation accepts donations throughout the year as the need for mammograms, treatments, examinations and aftercare continues unabated.
As well as accepting money, the foundation, in conjunction with Cayman Airways, has also introduced a way for people to donate their frequent flyer miles. Donations of the airline’s miles helps to offset the costs of travel overseas for people diagnosed with breast cancer.
Earlier this month, newly launched lingerie boutique Vy’s Closet commemorated its grand opening at the Countryside Shopping Centre by donating 10,000 airline miles to the foundation.
Vy’s Closet owner Rosa Harris said she launched the store’s opening with the mileage donation as she wanted to give something back to the courageous people fighting the disease. “Giving back to charities and being a sponsor of community events is an integrated part of the Vy’s Closet mantra,” Mrs. Harris said.
As some health insurance providers limit the number of flights off the islands for overseas medical treatments, the airline miles donation programme helps to ensure patients and their aides get to overseas treatment centres, said Breast Cancer Foundation director Kim Lund.
“Anyone who has a family member with cancer knows the financial challenges associated with getting the needed medical care. Oftentimes persons have to fly overseas with their sick family member several times a year to obtain treatments, so in addition to paying for medical procedures, there are other expenses such as airfare, transportation, food and hotel costs,” Mr. Lund said.
He added: “Airline miles donations help offset some of this burden on families and we are extremely grateful for companies like Vy’s Closet that donate miles that go a long way in helping.”
Anyone who wants to donate their Cayman Airways miles can visit www.breastcancerfoundation.ky and click on the Donate tab.
As well as accepting money, the foundation, in conjunction with Cayman Airways, has also introduced a way for people to donate their frequent flyer miles.