Here in the Caribbean, we do not experience the annual cycle of spring, summer, autumn and winter. However, we do observe “seasons” of our own.

Hurricane Season, for example, ranks near the bottom of our “favorites” list. Right at the top is Gala Season.

Elsewhere in the world, temperatures are dropping and Mother Nature is preparing to unveil her customary foliar fashion show. Here in the Cayman Islands, The Ritz-Carlton, Kimpton, Marriott and other elegant venues will soon burst into life as well. Soon they will be hosting a “who’s who” crowd decked out in evening gowns and black tuxedos – living proof that “looking good” and “doing good” can be as perfect a pairing as canapés and Champagne.

This year, thanks to the overwhelming success of Friday’s childhood cancer research fundraiser, more than a few of Cayman’s gala-goers may be modeling a hot new fashion accessory – namely, a wig.

Before a crowd of more than 1,000 people at Cricket Square, 107 sporting volunteers, including 27 women, submitted to having their heads shaved to raise more than $267,000 for the St. Baldrick’s Childhood Cancer Research Foundation.

The success of the Hannah’s Heroes Big Shave is an auspicious kickoff to a months-long social season that promises not only to be entertaining, but also to raise significant funds for, and awareness of, a multitude of needs on our islands and overseas.

Several worthy events are scheduled for this weekend, including the Central Caribbean Marine Institute’s Festival of Seas – the theme this year is “Beach Ball” – at the Kaibo Yacht Club. Funds raised will help ensure the health of our reefs and oceans for generations to come. Those who desire more casual philanthropic fun can opt for slippers and cozy pajamas at Cayman’s first Adult Slumber Party and Breast Cancer Fundraiser at the Marriott Beach Resort.

There are a number of industry-specific events on the horizon, too, including the 10th annual Cayman Islands Institute of Professional Accountants gala, where members of CIIPA – one of the largest professional societies in the Cayman Islands – gather to celebrate their profession and their colleagues’ success.

The Compass and its parent company, Pinnacle Media, are pleased to serve as media sponsor for many of these worthy events, including the Oct. 7 Cayman Islands Breast Cancer Foundation Gala, celebrating survivors and raising funds for local nonprofit organizations. This year the event will feature special guest speakers Giuliana and Bill Rancic, who will share their experiences as a five-year survivor and spouse.

The list could go on and on. Be sure to check the Cayman Weekender (included in Friday editions of the Compass), the daily newspaper and our website,, for details about upcoming events.

In the wake of recent devastating hurricanes, and as Cayman’s new nonprofit regulations have taken effect, the mechanisms and effects of charitable giving have been on the minds of many. As officials in the U.S. and Cayman have warned, it is important to verify that your kind contributions are directed to a reputable relief organization, and not “misdirected” for irrelevant or even fraudulent purposes.

Participating in one of Cayman’s many well-established galas is an ideal way to ensure that your money (and your evening) are well spent.

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