Organizers of this year’s Breast Cancer Foundation’s gala hope to match or surpass last year’s total of $150,000 raised to help fight breast cancer.
Established in September 2009 by directors Kim Lund, James Bovell and John Broadbent, the Breast Cancer Foundation is a Cayman Islands government-registered charity which gives annual grants to the Cayman Islands Cancer Society. Money raised goes toward financial aid for breast cancer patients, mammogram vouchers, and prosthetics.
Heather McLaughlin, the foundation’s chief administrator, said the organization also gives grants to the Lions Club of Tropical Gardens for its October walk/run and aids breast cancer patients directly by supporting them if they need surgery, treatment, or help with overseas travel and living expenses. The foundation also has a wellness fund dedicated to holistic care. The annual gala, always well attended, is already sold out. Headlining the event on Oct. 4 at the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman is Tessanne Chin, winner of the 2013 “The Voice” competition, a popular American TV show.
Organizers expect some 550 guests at this year’s event, which includes a champagne reception, a three-course meal, and silent and live auctions.
A top raffle prize includes two airline tickets to Nassau, Bahamas, and beachfront suite accommodation at the Atlantis resort, as well as a cash prize of US$1,000.
Behind the scenes
Ms. McLaughlin, who is a 12-year breast cancer survivor herself, handles all aspects of the gala dinner, working with a small committee of volunteers. Securing hosts for the annual event is no easy feat, Ms. McLaughlin said.
“It’s a difficult process,” she said. “Celebrity fees are huge nowadays, so I try to circumvent booking agents by finding a way to get to them directly. Sometimes I feel like a stalker, but it’s all in the name of saving money for the Brest Cancer Foundation while providing our guests with a night to remember.”
In 2013, NBC’s “Today” co-anchor Hoda Kotb was the keynote speaker.