Red Cross gala features Rod Stewart tribute artist

Rod Stewart tribute artist Doug Varty will provide the entertainment at the Cayman Islands Red Cross gala, which is being held the day after World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day, on May 9.  

The dinner-dance gala at the Westin resort will include silent auctions, raffle prizes and a live auction. All proceeds from the event will go toward the Red Cross disaster management program, which assists the most vulnerable communities through education, preparedness, mitigation and response activities and projects.  

These include: 

  • The first aid/CPR/AED and lifeguard program, which trains volunteers, community response team members and others in basic lifesaving skills; 
  • HIV and AIDS awareness, education and prevention; 
  • Child sexual abuse awareness and prevention; 
  • Thrift shop community outreach, which makes necessary goods available to the most vulnerable, free of cost, both in George Town and in the outer districts; 
  • Volunteer training and development, which not only enhances the human capacity of the Red Cross, but also of the community as a whole. 
  • The Cayman Islands Red Cross, established 54 years ago, relies on volunteers to support the humanitarian cause. The Red Cross’s inherent values include humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, unity and universality.  
  • Its Thrift Shop works closely with the Department of Children and Family Services and relies on donations to give clothing, shoes, bedding and furniture to clients using vouchers issued by the department. The funds help refugees at the immigration detention center, the Probation Centre, Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, and the Lions Club’s children’s reading program. They also support people who are victims of disasters such as house fires. 

The red collection 

Last May, the Thrift Shop opened “The Red Collection,” a designer vintage and brand-new item boutique aimed at providing local fashionistas and fashion aficionados with another option for great finds. The aim behind “The Red Collection” is to help the Red Cross raise much-needed money for a series of community projects, as well as for its main capital project for 2014-2019: a new headquarters. 

The Cayman Islands Red Cross also has an outreach program named “Deals on Wheels,” a mobile thrift shop in a trailer which is taken to key locations in each district one Saturday of every other month except May. 

Red Cross founder 

World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day (May 8) is the birthday of its founder, Henry Dunant, who was born in Geneva in 1828 to a devout Calvinist family. He experienced the aftermath of the Battle of Solferino in Lombardy, Italy, in 1859 and saw soldiers from both sides die because no assistance was given. He also saw those who tried to assist being shot and killed. He assembled a group of residents from Solferino to set up a makeshift hospital in a nearby church.  

The volunteers provided medical attention to all soldiers independent of their origin or affiliation. Dunant wrote “A Memory of Solferino,” which led to the creation of the International Committee for Relief to the Wounded, the future International Committee of the Red Cross. His ideas were the foundation of the Geneva Conventions created in 1864. He was a member and secretary of the International Committee of the Red Cross, but his financial situation forced him to resign in September 1867.  

After 28 years of traveling around Europe and continuing to implement his humanitarian ideas, he was discovered in 1895 by journalist Georg Baumberger while he was in a hospice in the Swiss village of Heiden.  

Baumberger wrote an article which drew attention to Dunant’s lifelong work, as it was reprinted throughout Europe. As a result, Dunant received the first ever Nobel Peace Prize in 1901. Since his death in October 1910, the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement has expanded to more than 120 countries with more than 115 million members. 

The Red Cross Gala is on Saturday, May 9, at 6:30 p.m. at the Westin resort. Corporate tables are $1,500 and individual tickets are $150. Contact [email protected] or 916-3345 for more information. 

Doug Varty brings his Rod Stewart tribute act to the Red Cross gala on May 9.