The 12th annual gathering of hedge fund managers, brokers and financial services firms at the Hedge Funds Care gala on Saturday, Nov. 19, is set to draw more than 350 people this year, say organizers, who hope to raise at least US$300,000 to combat child abuse and neglect.

“We want to encourage people to come in bright colors, wearing oranges and pinks.”

Hedge Funds Care’s Cayman chapter, founded in 2005 by then-partner at Deloitte Glen Wigney, has raised more than US$2.5 million, according to the organization. It has benefited many local service providers, including $50,000 to the Children and Youth Services Foundation; $40,000 to the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre; $16,000 to the Red Cross; $45,000 to the Department of Counselling Services; $25,000 to the Health Services Authority; and $17,000 to the Special Needs Foundation of Cayman.

Other donations have been made to the Frances Bodden Girls Home, the Family Resource Centre and the National Council of Voluntary Organisations.

“We have a grants committee with seven or eight members to decide where the money goes, supported by an academic consultant,” said Sarah Broad, Walkers representative to Hedge Funds Care. Potential recipients must apply each year, and the maximum grant is $50,000.

Ms. Broad says the organization also tracks its donations to ensure they are being spent properly.

Hedge Fund Care’s 21-member Committee of Hearts – chaired by Deloitte’s Cindy Hislop, who is also chairwoman of HFC – and the 16-member Committee of Hope – chaired by Michelle Morgan of Harbour and Carol Reynolds of Queensgate – look after fundraising.

The “hearts” group, Ms. Hislop says, is a little older and reviews all requests for funding while leading the chief fundraising effort, the annual gala.

The “hopes” group, she says, is a little younger, looking after “smaller, essentially networking” events throughout the year such as an annual luau, an Oktoberfest and a Havana Night.

The group’s website lists 24 global sponsors, including Ernst & Young, KPMG, PwC, Deloitte, HSBC, Goldman Sachs and BDO. All play a role at various levels of support and even the number of tables purchased for the gala.

However, the bulk of the fundraising comes from local companies involved in the alternative investments industry, such as Walkers, Maples and Calder, and Deloitte, Ms. Hislop said.

Another form of sponsorship is illustrated by Arch Automotive, which donated a new Audi S8 Plus for Saturday night’s draw.

“They provided the car, bringing the community together for the event. We auction it off and the money goes to charity,” Ms. Broad said.

The Audi, a holiday at a luxurious Whispering Pines South vacation home in Breckenridge, Colorado, and a helicopter tour with Champagne and dinner top the auction list at the gala, which is being held at the new Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa. The list is supplemented by jewelry and a selection of Omega watches from Kirk Freeport and a stay-over package at the Kimpton resort.

Given the gala’s location this year, the benefit features the theme “Sunset at the Seafire,” which Hedge Funds Care says “calls for tropical-colored gowns and bright bow-ties or black-tie for those who prefer to blend.”

Ms. Broad noted, “We want to encourage people to come in bright colors, wearing oranges and pinks.”

The gala kicks off at 6 p.m. with drinks in the foyer outside the ballroom, as guests are encouraged to bid on a range of items at the silent auction.

At 7 p.m., guests will find their seats in the main ballroom, while listening to a series of brief remarks led by emcee Vicki Wheaton.

Dinner will be enhanced by “several very talented musicians supplied by the Cayman Arts Festival,” Ms. Broad said, while table-side entertainers and magicians stroll the room.

After the meal, a live auction will be led by local banker Kim Remizowski.

Those interested in tickets may contact Cindy Hislop at [email protected]

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