Deputy Governor’s 5K to benefit 3 charities

From left, Jennifer Ahearn, chief officer, Ministry of Health; Feed our Future Chairwoman Stacey VanDevelde; Deputy Governor Franz Manderson; Appleby (Cayman) Ltd.'s Managing Partner Bryan Hunter; Mike McWatt, managing director of Butterfield Bank (Cayman) Ltd.; Kiwanis Club President Nicola Murray; and Meals on Wheels General Manager Erin Bodden support the Deputy Governor’s 5K challenge. - Photo: Jewel Levy

This year’s Deputy Governor’s 5K challenge will support three charitable ventures on Grand Cayman – Meals on Wheels, Feed Our Future and the Kiwanis Club of Grand Cayman’s “Buy a Kid Breakfast” program.

Also, to mark the five-year milestone of the annual event, which will be held in April, a walk/run will be hosted in Little Cayman for the first time.

Money raised in Little Cayman will go toward a “grow box” at the island’s school and the proceeds from the Brac event will be donated to the Kirkconnell Community Care Centre for meals.

“This year, we want to look at charities who do a lot for our community by feeding those who are in need of nutritious meals,” said Deputy Governor Franz Manderson, who personally leads the 5K challenge.

Mr. Manderson explained why he chose the charities.

He said he once had the opportunity, along with other civil servants, to deliver food with Meals On Wheels, and found it an amazing opportunity to interact with people. He said it was also a delight to see the joy on recipients’ faces as the Meals on Wheels volunteers walked into their yards to deliver a hot meal.

He also commended Feed Our Future and the Kiwanis “Buy A Kid Breakfast” program, which ensures that children have a meal during their school day.

“We are at our best in our islands when we don’t complain, we just look for solutions, and we are at our best when we come together for a great cause, and I can’t think of anything better than to be giving to our children and our elderly … something good to eat and spending quality time with them,” Mr. Manderson said.

The Deputy Governor’s 5K challenge brings together civil servants, private sector employees and members of the public in a fitness and fundraising challenge.

It is also part of Mr. Manderson’s vision to have a healthier, more active and more socially engaged civil service, while benefitting charitable organizations and initiatives in the Cayman Islands.

Last year’s 5K challenge raised $85,000 to build a rope challenge course for the YMCA.

Stacey VanDevelde, chairwoman of Feed Our Future, said the organization was proud to have the support of the Deputy Governor’s 5K challenge this year.

“Children are at the heart of the work that we do, [and] that relates to how they are fueled up. Food is also at the heart of what we do,” she said.

Kiwanis president Nicola Murray explained that funds raised for the “Buy A Kid Breakfast” program go directly to children in Cayman.

“We support eight local primary schools with breakfast for the children. That really stems from 2011 when we were contacted by many teachers in local schools that were providing food for many children and needed donations to help them,” she said.

Ms. Murray added that in the seven years the Kiwanis have been running the program, it has raised $200,000 toward purchasing breakfasts for children.

Meals on Wheels general manager Erin Bodden said her charity serves 4,000 meals to the elderly and housebound across the island every month, at a monthly cost of $26,000.

“Meals on Wheels continues to do this through the generosity of the people,” Ms. Bodden said.

Fundraising toward the 5K challenge target of $60,000 was given a jump start by platinum sponsor Appleby, which has already donated $15,000.

Appleby managing partner Bryan Hunter said the company was delighted to be onboard for the fourth year.

“This event has supported so many worthy causes over the years …. We [have] watched the event go from strength to strength over the time we have been involved, and we expect that trend to continue this year,” he said.

As they did last year, Butterfield, Davenport and EY Cayman also confirmed they will be donating $5,000 each.

The event on Grand Cayman takes place on Sunday, April 29. On Cayman Brac, it will be held on Sunday, April 15 and on Little Cayman on Sunday, April 22.

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