Sock Hop raises funds for land conservation

Pattie Sowell and Doris Black are fully decked out.
Pattie Sowell and Doris Black are fully decked out.

Guests sipping soda floats and twirling hula hoops in poodle skirts made for a lively open air party last weekend on Cayman Brac.

The National Trust Cayman Brac committee’s winter fundraiser was held on Saturday Jan. 23 at Brac Public Beach, raising just under $4,600 for the group’s Lands Acquisition Fund.

Proceeds are used to purchase sensitive land areas for the Brac’s native plants and animals.

Trust sanctuaries exist in perpetuity, acting as safe havens, allowing wildlife to live protected and unmolested.

“Such preserves also allow anyone to hike through sites untouched by development, and a chance to visit God’s original handiwork on this enchanted isle,” said event organizer Kathleen Bodden-Harris.

Sponsored by Cayman National Bank, event donors also included Trust lifetime member Moses Kirkconnell and other individual members including Doris Black and Bonnie and Gene Edwards, along with several anonymous donors.

“Even the cash winner of the Split the Cash Raffle, who won $500 from the $1,000 prize, returned an additional donation of $100 towards the benefit,” said Ms. Bodden-Harris.

She said auction contributors included Kirk Marine, Brac Scuba Shack, Wyndham Reef Resort, Island Time in the Brac, Chef Debbie from Little Cayman and others.

“Whether you donated food, money, bought tickets for the event, volunteered services, talents or time, your contributions played a role in the success and the Cayman Brac District Committee of the National Trust wishes to thank all who played a role for their generosity,” added Ms. Bodden-Harris.

Wallace Platts volunteers as a soda jerk, serving up authentic floats to guests. - Photo: Kathleen Bodden-Harris
Wallace Platts volunteeres as a soda jerk, serving up authentic floats to guests. – Photo: Kathleen Bodden-Harris

Mark Knowlton, from the Brac’s Century 21 office acted as auctioneer and later served up musical entertainment as DJ.

Ms. Bodden-Harris reported that tickets to the event, which included food, drinks and an authentic ice cream soda bar manned by soda jerks Wallace Platts and Hugh O’Gara sold out within less than three weeks.

“Participants and guests clamored for more, requesting this to become an annual event,” said Ms. Bodden-Harris, who was very pleased with the positive response.

Unfortunately, the aftermath of the party was marred by vandalism.

Ms. Bodden-Harris said the organizers worked hard after the party to clean the grounds and leave the site pristine, collecting trash to be taken away by volunteers the next morning.

“The following morning, the pickup committee was greeted with a scene of broken beer bottles, pop tops and firework debris scattered everywhere,” said Ms. Bodden-Harris. “Our National Trust events are fun-filled community building affairs. None of our members wish to have our good name and works tarnished by these lawless pranksters,” she continued.

“Despite the disrespectful interlopers, the evening offered another successful opportunity to champion the future of the natural beauty this little island has to offer. Our activities, events and sanctuaries are there to be enjoyed by any and all who love it.”

Next year’s event is planned for Saturday, Jan. 21 at the Public Beach.

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