Many Cayman Islands residents spent weeks training for Deputy Governor Franz Manderson’s annual 5K Challenge. It’s a good thing, too, because those reserves of stamina were certainly drawn upon – not just to finish the run/walk held last Sunday morning – but to get through the series of charitable events that took place that weekend.
Last Friday, the Cayman HospiceCare fundraiser attracted nearly 300 people to Ristorante Pappagallo, including George Town MLA Joey Hew, Governor Helen Kilpatrick and, yes, Mr. Manderson. The annual event typically raises about $70,000 for the admirable organization.
On Saturday, some 400 people attended the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service’s Outstanding Service Awards, with proceeds benefitting the Police Welfare Fund. As the evening progressed, Mr. Manderson, Governor Kilpatrick and Premier Alden McLaughlin eyed their watches with increasing frequency, in the knowledge they would be up early the next morning for the 5K Challenge. (We know our deputy governor was getting up at 4 a.m.).
Nearly 1,500 registered runners and walkers took part in the run/walk this year, which has grown exponentially since its first iteration in 2014. Organizers estimated that they would meet or exceed their goal of raising $50,000 for Cayman Heart Fund’s purchase of a new emergency services vehicle.
In the longer run (pun intended), the deputy governor’s continued focus on improving the health of the civil service, and the wider Cayman community, may prove more beneficial than a new ambulance (and indeed might reduce the need for those types of vehicles). The best and most cost-efficient type of medicine is preventative – generally speaking, the healthier and more physically fit you are, the less likely you are to develop diseases or conditions that require expensive and invasive corrective procedures. (This is extremely relevant to Cayman, in light of the $1.18 billion projected liability in the public healthcare system.)
Deputy Governor Manderson deserves recognition for his contributions to Cayman’s future. He should be applauded for stepping up to help our country shape up.