For years, the Cayman Heart Fund organization has raised money and awareness, centered around cardiovascular health. February is officially heart month, and the charity often holds its annual gala at that time, but it also holds luncheons, like the one on Sept. 28, when “Heart Heroes” speak about their survival journey to inspire others.
The luncheon, hosted by Barrie Quappe, runs from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will feature some surprise entertainment, an exciting raffle, and speeches from members of the community who have survived cardiovascular disease. In 2017, “Uncle” Bill McTaggart happily performed for the audience in the Marriott Ballroom as part of a trio. Who knows what organizers have got up their sleeve this year. This is always a lively, social event full of uplifting messages and laughter. Guests are always encouraged to wear red, the official color of the charity.
Hart for Hearts, the pediatric arm of Cayman Heart Fund, has also featured at the luncheons. Hart for Hearts was formed in 2015, by Ben and Charlotte Hart after their son Hugo was born with a rare congenital heart defect. This forced their family to be based in the United States for several months.
Due to their family’s journey, the cause of bringing awareness to the problems families in Cayman face when babies are born with a congenital heart defect is one that is close to their heart.
The most recent event held by the charity was KidFest at Pedro Castle in June 2018, in honor of baby Nolan Evans.
Cayman Heart Fund
The Cayman Heart Fund is a non-profit, non-government organization dedicated to the reduction of heart and circulatory disease in the Cayman Islands. Heart and circulatory disease, known as cardiovascular disease, is the number one health problem in the Cayman Islands.
The group’s aim is to help prevent and reduce the early deaths, long-term disabilities and widespread suffering that heart and circulatory diseases cause.
Suzy Soto founded the Cayman Heart Fund in 2007, at her own birthday party at the Cracked Conch.
“It was the first fundraising event,” she says, “although it wasn’t a gala, it was my birthday.”
In 2001, Mrs. Soto had a pacemaker implanted, “and a lot of people were asking me about it. I said I’d like to start a heart fund. I was at the age where I wanted to give back,” although few would argue that Soto had not already spent a lifetime helping shape and propel the Cayman Islands community.
At that 2007 gathering, instead of birthday gifts she asked for checks from attendees. Dr. Shirley Cridland and Dr. Sook Yin then joined the Cayman Heart Fund’s inaugural Board of Directors.
Luncheon tickets are $75 or $750 for a table of ten. Call 916-6324 or email [email protected] to reserve seats.