‘Orange’ gala raises funds for Meals on Wheels

Many of Cayman’s most compassionate and most generous gathered Saturday evening in the ballroom of the Marriott Hotel to show their support for Meals on Wheels, a local charity that delivers hot meals to the island’s elderly and most vulnerable.

The occasion was the organization’s annual fundraiser, dubbed the “Orange You Glad Gala,” and many, if not most, of the attendees showed up in theme.

Meals on Wheels chairman Rob Imparato set the sartorial standard for the night, attired in the most “orange of the orange” outfit, head to toe, suit to shoes (necktie included).

It was a fun night with a serious purpose. Meals on Wheels, under the guidance of Executive Director Beulah McField, now delivers hot lunches to 180 Caymanians throughout the island. Unfortunately, the need is much greater than the available resources, and the charity is trying to raise funds for additional food preparation facilities which would enable it to provide more meals to more seniors.

Even so, each day more than 100 volunteers prepare the meals and perform the deliveries. In 2014, Meals on Wheels delivered more than 37,000 hot, nutritious lunches throughout all of the districts.

Importantly, all donations from the public are used to cover the cost of the meal – from purchasing the ingredients from supermarket shelves, to preparing the lunches, to delivering them to seniors’ tables. Administrative costs, including a staff of just two, are covered by an annual grant of $52,268 from government.

On Saturday evening, through its ticket sales and silent and live auctions, the event generated approximately (the final figures are still being tallied) $40,000. At a cost of $5 per meal, that translates into 8,000 meals for Cayman’s most hungry and most vulnerable.

Government officials in attendance at the fundraiser included Deputy Governor Franz Manderson and his wife Nuvia, Opposition Leader McKeeva Bush and West Bay Minister Tara Rivers.