Island Heritage’s CharityDrive is right around the corner

Volunteers from the Central Caribbean Marine Institute on the Island Heritage roundabout during 2018’s CharityDrive.

Island Heritage Insurance is gearing up for its annual CharityDrive, set this year for May 7, 8 and 9.

Now in its eighth year, the Island Heritage CharityDrive has raised more than CI$230,000 for 18 different local charities.

This year’s participating charities will each have a dedicated day to encourage the community to ‘drive up’ the amount of funds Island Heritage will donate to them by driving by the Island Heritage roundabout or showing support over social media.

The first day’s charity, the Cayman National Cultural Foundation, said it is thrilled and grateful to be participating in this year’s CharityDrive.

CNCF Managing Director Marcia Muttoo said the funds will assist in making a diverse roster of programming on CNCF’s cultural calendar a reality. “Upcoming projects such as Cayman’s representation abroad at CARIFESTA, arts festivals here at home, the annual summer arts camp, and the Rundown stage production cannot happen without the support of the community, and we are happy that Island Heritage recognises the importance of what we do. Our work with and for our entire community – from the very young to seniors – has positively changed the way arts and culture is understood and regarded in the Cayman Islands. It has impacted virtually every other cultural organisation operating in Cayman,” she said.

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“As well, numerous creatives, representing all art forms and heritage practices, have received some form of assistance from CNCF – whether it be training, grants, technical or creative advice to make new work or continue existing projects. CNCF will use the proceeds from this event to continue to promote and facilitate the development of the arts in the Cayman Islands.”

Day two’s charity, the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, funds scientific research and educational initiatives aimed at conserving the marine environment. The foundation’s Development Coordinator Louisa Gibson said the funds raised through the CharityDrive will benefit the Ocean Foundation’s efforts in Cayman such as the biannual Southern stingray census, the Oceanic whitetip shark tagging project, the Shark Talk Initiative and other educational outreach programmes.

Inclusion in the Island Heritage CharityDrive helps the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation to “achieve our mission of ensuring that future generations can enjoy and benefit from a naturally balanced ocean ecosystem where fish and other marine wildlife flourish”, Gibson said.

Day three of the event will benefit the Alex Panton Foundation, a non-profit organisation with the primary objective of raising awareness of mental health difficulties affecting children and young adults in the Cayman Islands, with a particular focus on anxiety and depression. “This Foundation has been established in memory of Alex Panton, who succumbed to the effects of severe depression at the age of 16,” said Chairwoman Jane Panton.

The Alex Panton Foundation aims to provide hope and resources to friends, family, teachers, classmates and carers to help save the lives of children and young adults struggling with mental illness. “Funds from this event will help to support our numerous initiatives in place to support our mission,” Panton said.

They include: emotional literacy programmes that teach children how to cope with everyday difficulties, how to communicate with other people, and build self-awareness and emotional resilience; a Mental Health Crisis Hub for young people; sponsorship for private treatment; peer-led support groups for 18-25 year olds living with anxiety and depression; and psychoeducational community workshops on a variety of pressing issues affecting our community, such as management of suicide and self-harm, bullying and mental health, and self-harm and suicidal ideations.”

Island Heritage’s Monique Bush said, “As we lead-up to next week’s Island Heritage CharityDrive, we continue to learn more about each of this year’s deserving, participating charities and couldn’t be more proud to give them our support. We encourage the community to join us next week to show your love for Cayman the roundabout way.”

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