It is that time again, when the annual Breast Cancer Gala, held at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman on Oct. 6, recognizes Breast Cancer Month in an evening of heartfelt speeches, entertainment and good company.
Every year, the Breast Cancer Foundation of the Cayman Islands hosts this event that usually sells out months in advance. Luckily, there is a chance of scoring a ticket by joining the waiting list; suffice it to say that the gala is a much-anticipated night of glitter and glamour, all for a very good cause.
One of the highlights of the gala has always been the celebrity guest speaker or entertainer. Past years have seen Hoda Kotb, Bill and Giuliana Rancic, Joan Lunden and Cynthia Nixon speak about their personal experiences and being affected by breast cancer. The winner of Season 5 of “The Voice,” Tessanne Chin, also performed on stage, much to the delight of attendees.
This year, actress Shannen Doherty will be the guest speaker. Shannen has been very public about her battle with breast cancer, sharing the trials and tribulations of treatments, setbacks and the emotional and physical toll such a disease takes on a person.
Another part of the evening that garners a lot of excitement, while raising funds for the Foundation, is the live auction. Items run the gamut from jewelry to trips, unique experiences, photography packages and tickets to shows. The ballroom is a sea of paddles in the air, as people vie for the item they want to win.
There is always a raffle for those who would like a chance to win a fabulous prize without participating in the auction, and this year is no exception. Organizers have upped the ante by offering a 1998 Jeep Wrangler TJ as the main raffle prize. The Jeep is fully customized and donated by Tony’s Toys, sporting new bucket seats, a lift kit, new paint job and all the bells and whistles to get you noticed on the road. It’s the perfect island vehicle! Tickets are $25 and will be sold around Cayman leading up to the night of the gala; so, even if you’re not going to the ball, you could still end up with a magic carriage worth $26,000.
Shannen Doherty is an actress best known for her roles in a variety of popular television series, including “Little House on the Prairie,” “Our House,” “Beverly Hills, 90210” and “Charmed.” She has also been a favorite on the big screen with roles in films such as “Heathers,” “Mall Rats” and “Christmas Caper.”
Born in Memphis, Shannen’s family moved to Los Angeles when she was 7 years old. By the age of 10, she made her professional television debut on “Father Murphy,” which led to her role on the renowned classic, “Little House on the Prairie.” Since her breakthrough role on the hugely popular “Beverly Hills, 90210,” Shannen has become one of the most popular and recognizable American women in film and television.
An accomplished actress with an extensive list of credits, Shannen is also a host of “Scare Tactics,” producer of “Another Day” and “Breaking Up with Shannen Doherty,” director of “Charmed” and author of “Badass: A Hard-Earned Guide to Living Life with Style and (the Right) Attitude.” Shannen co-hosts the Great American Country series “Off the Map With Shannen and Holly.”
In 2015, Shannen was diagnosed with breast cancer. She has been incredibly open throughout the process of her treatment, which has sparked a widespread conversation in the media that she hopes inspires others fighting cancer.
Tickets to the Gala are $350 each and include a three-course dinner with wine and entertainment. The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman is offering a special overnight package of $299 so you can simply walk to your room once the festivities are done.