A fish fry held by the Community Services Department of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in George Town raised more than $8,000 to help pay the back-to-school expenses of nearly four dozen students on island.
The department selected 40 students from across nine schools on Grand Cayman to help with such expenses as tuition, uniforms, books and lunch. The department is also supporting the canteen of Cayman Academy. During the fish fry on Discovery Day in May, 500 pounds of fish were steamed, fried, served and sold, a press release stated.
On behalf of the schools, Chief Education Officer Lyneth Monteith accepted the checks, and on Aug. 19 the principals of the chosen schools received the donations.
The fundraising effort, which took four months of planning and preparation, originated when Elsie Myles, coordinator of a team of volunteers, and other volunteers took note of the needs of children while engaged in other community service activities.
“I know what it feels like when children do not have all the necessary resources to enable them to take full advantage of education,” Ms. Myles said, “[and] as we became aware of these needs while interacting with the community, my team and I felt that we had to do something to help.”
On fundraising day, “the whole team came out and worked diligently,” said Ms. Myles. She said the North Side Seventh-day Adventist Church also helped.
“We were delighted to have the community services team from the North Side church, who came to assist with this very worthy cause,” she said.
Speaking on behalf of the Department of Education Services and the Ministry of Education, Ms. Monteith thanked the Community Services Department “for its generosity in helping our students and their parents to prepare for the new school year.”
In addition to the donations to the schools, $125 was donated to the parent of a George Town Primary student in need.
Ms. Myles said, “Our reward is the satisfaction of knowing that the present and future lives of many children will be that much better because we cared enough to make a difference.”
The Seventh-day Adventist Church also delivers food on a monthly basis and operates a soup kitchen, which delivers about 500 cups of soup every week to the elderly and infirm.
“It is commendable that the church supports ventures such as these, and I am sure that the families are very appreciative of the support,” said Ms. Montieth.