Charities drive away winners

For three days in April, the people of Grand Cayman helped Island Heritage Insurance Company show their support for local charities by participating in the company’s second annual CharityDrive. This year’s drive supported the National Council of Voluntary Organisations, Cayman National Cultural Foundation and the Cayman Islands Red Cross. 

The National Roads Authority provided traffic sensor counters to accurately record the number of cars driving past the Island Heritage roundabout from 7am to 7pm each day and, for every car recorded, Island Heritage donated one dollar to that day’s highlighted charity up to a maximum of CI$10,000 per charity per day. 

In addition to driving past the Roundabout, the public could also support the three charities through the use of social media. The public was encouraged to visit the Island Heritage Facebook page and use a “support” application or mention @charitydriveky on Twitter and each of these methods also triggered a dollar donation. 

This year Island Heritage decided to up the ante and add a $5,000 bonus for the organisation with the most social media activity on their day, donating a total of $35,000.  

“Being a good corporate citizen is important to us, and CharityDrive is a fun and innovative way in which Island Heritage can give back to the community,” said Rhonda Verhoeven of Island Heritage. “With enthusiastic support from our volunteers and the public, each participating charity received their much-needed funds to assist them in reaching their goals. We are very proud of the success of CharityDrive and have already received inquiries about next year’s event.” 

On day one, supporters were greeted by NCVO superhero Batman and encouraged to drive round the roundabout. The momentum built throughout the day on the radio and online, and by 7pm the organisation had made their $10,000 goal. 

“The NCVO and our volunteers thoroughly enjoyed participating in the Island Heritage Charity Drive,” said Janice Wilson, CEO of the NCVO. “We were delighted with the support we received from the community and overjoyed to receive a $10,000 donation from Island Heritage! These funds will be put to good use for projects within various children’s programmes that are run by the NCVO including the Nadine Andreas Foster Home, Miss Nadine’s pre-school and Jack & Jill Nursery.” 

Day two brought excitement to the roundabout with CNCF volunteers in traditional and carnival dress and Facebook was a flurry with postings about the CNCF’s youth projects. 

Kaitlyn Elphinstone, programmes and marketing officer for the CNCF, was thrilled to receive the $10,000.  

“The donation from Island Heritage will enable CNCF to offer a two week Summer Arts Camp at a subsidised rate of $170 per child,” said Kaitlyn. “This subsidy makes the arts accessible to more families. Camp food and an offsite field trip are included in the fee, and further fee reductions will also be available to larger families.” 

On the final day of CharityDrive, the volunteers of the CI Red Cross wore the instantly recognisable red and white vests and visors of the International Red Cross. Their enthusiastic volunteers kept people smiling as they drove round the roundabout and by the end of the day they had also reached their $10,000 goal. 

“The Red Cross staff and volunteers found the charity drive day to be a unique experience filled with a lot of fun. As the Red Cross has four main programmes, namely Disaster Management, First Aid Training, HIV & AIDS education and Thrift Shop, we are always engaging in various types of fundraisers and were very pleased and grateful to Island Heritage for the opportunity of being part of the 2013 Charity Drive Day,” said Jondo Obi, director of the Cayman Islands Red Cross. 

After the week’s social media activity was totalled, the CNCF was awarded the $5,000 bonus. 

“We were thrilled to be a part of the 2013 Charity Drive and even more ecstatic to receive the bonus $5,000 for the social media support. The funds raised will go towards three of our youth programmes, Young Image Makers short film competition, the CNCF Youth Online Photo Competition and our Summer Arts Camp,” added Kaitlyn. 

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The CharityDrive was a huge success. Shown here are back row from left, Marketing Manager Monique Bush; Senior Vice President Marketing and Corporate Services Rhonda Verhoeven; CEO Garth MacDonald; Batman; Stryker; and CI Red Cross Programme Support Officer Latrese Haylock. Front row includes NCVO Coordinator Alta Bodden-Solomon; NCVO CEO Janice Wilson; CNCF Programmes Manager and Information Manager Rita Estevanovich; CNCF Programmes and Marketing Officer Kaitlyn Elphinstone; and Director CI Red Cross Jondo Obi. – Photo: Submitted
©2013 CourtneyPlatt.com
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