10th annual benefit event on Nov. 29
For the 10th consecutive year, members of Cayman’s hedge fund and financial services communities will show their generosity by opening their wallets at the “Open Your Heart for Children Benefit” on Nov. 29 at the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman.
Since its inception and inaugural event in 2005, Hedge Funds Care Cayman has raised more than US$2.1 million to help prevent and treat child abuse and neglect. Its benefit event now raises as much as $250,000 each year.
Although Hedge Funds Care also has branches in six U.S. regions as well as in Canada, the U.K., Ireland and Hong Kong, the money it raises in Cayman stays in the jurisdiction, said the chairman of the local board of directors, Geoff Ruddick, of International Management Services.
“All the net proceeds raised in Cayman stay in Cayman,” he said.
In 2013, Hedge Funds Care Cayman gave grants to seven local organizations, some but not all associated with the government, often for specific programs run by those entities. Some examples of grant recipients last year were the Health Service Authority’s Child Sexual Abuse Intervention and Treatment program; the National Council of Voluntary Organisations’ Nadine Andreas Residential Foster Home; and the Ministry of Education, Employment and Gender Affairs’ Better Future project, a school-based intervention for children at risk of abuse.
To help guide them through the rigorous grant-making decisions to ensure the money raised is put to the best use, the hedge funds and financial industry professionals who sit on the grant committee use the services of an academic adviser from the U.S., child welfare expert Dr. Bart Grossman.
Hedge Funds Care Cayman also has the support of Hedge Funds Care, the international arm of the charity based in New York, where its staff is led by Dr. Kathryn Conroy, assistant dean at the Columbia University School of Social Work.
“So it’s not just us,” said Nicholas Butcher of Maples and Calder, who sits on the international Hedge Funds Care board of directors as well as the Cayman chapter board of directors. “We’re under the guidance of people who know what they’re talking about.”
Organizing the annual “Open Your Heart to Children” benefit on Grand Cayman is the main task of the Committee of Hearts, which is currently co-chaired by Mr. Ruddick and Mr. Butcher.
Over the years, the benefit has been held at various venues, including the Grand Old House and Camana Bay’s Arts & Recreation Centre. This year the event will return to the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, where it was also held in 2013. To mark the 10th anniversary, this year’s theme is “Diamond Decade.” The dress code is black-tie but can be supplemented with a white/silver/Champagne and diamonds option for both men and women.
The event starts at 6 p.m. with a Champagne reception and large silent auction that features a variety of items, including jewelry, fine wines and sports memorabilia. Dinner and entertainment will be followed by a live auction conducted by local finance industry veteran Kim Remizowski.
Because the organizers want attendees to concentrate on raising money for charity, introductions and speeches will be kept to about 10 minutes, Mr. Butcher said, noting that the ticket prices for the event are US$1,000 per person.
“With that in mind, we want people to enjoy themselves as much as possible,” he said.
Vicki Wheaton will serve as emcee, and Mr. Ruddick described the entertainment planned for the evening as “quite unique and exciting.”
After the formal proceedings of the program are completed, which is expected to be around 9:30 p.m., attendees will be able stay and dance to the music of a DJ until just before midnight.