Driving down Esterley Tibbetts Highway on June 6–8, you may notice some rather unusual sights, such as a cluster of placard-waving people clad in brightly colored T-shirts, with even an animal mascot or two. Simply keep calm, give a friendly honk if you wish, and drive on, safe in the knowledge you’ve just donated to charity without so much as opening your wallet.

It’s all in aid of the Island Heritage CharityDrive, an annual fundraiser for local charities. Island Heritage donates on behalf of drivers in the following way: If you circle the roundabout on the specified dates, traffic sensors detect your vehicle, automatically adding $1 to the total.

To help, visit the Island Heritage Facebook page and “like” it and like the day’s live video; mention @charitydriveky on Twitter, or “like” three of its daily charity-specific photos on Instagram @islandheritageinsurance. For every drive-by or social media salute, Island Heritage will donate $1, up to $35,000, to the selected charities during CharityDrive (up to $10,000 per charity, plus a $5,000 bonus for the charity with the most social media support).

This year’s three charities were selected by an online public vote:

CARE strives to help the island’s many abandoned cats and dogs and eliminate the suffering of all domestic animals. It promotes spaying and neutering to reduce overpopulation and educates on responsible pet ownership (June 6).

Cayman Islands Little League offers a free recreational program for kids, teaching strong community values for a better tomorrow (June 7).

The Cayman Islands Crisis Centre provides protection to vulnerable groups from domestic violence by offering safe shelter and hope for a life free from violence (June 8).

How it began

The idea for CharityDrive was sparked in 2011, when Island Heritage staff members were looking for a way to beautify the forgotten patch of grass close to The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman. A year later, the event made its debut on the re-landscaped roundabout, which pays tribute to local culture with a miniature Cayman-style cottage, a catboat and native trees. Since then, Island Heritage has donated more than US$160,000 to charity.

“CharityDrive began in 2012 as a way to involve the community in driving the amount of funds we donate to the event’s named charities,” says Monique Bush of Island Heritage. “From year-to-year the event has grown and evolved, and we couldn’t be more pleased with the support the Cayman community has shown.

“This year [people are] going a step further to vote on the three deserving Cayman charities.

“We look forward to seeing your smiles, hearing your honks and reading your social media posts in support of CharityDrive 2017. Let’s make it our best year yet!”

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