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Philippines disaster relief efforts raise over $34,000

| 15/12/2009 | 0 Comments

Cayman Islands local news(CNS): A call in the Cayman Islands to aid people in the Philippines struggling to recover from the devastating impact of tropical storm Ketsana three months ago raised CI$34,369. The cylone hit the region on Saturday 26 September, dumping 16 inches of rain in 12 hours. Fundraising for the Red Cross Philippines Disaster Relief Fund was a community-wide effort that included an October radio-thon, along with corporate donations and fundraising activities from various schools to benefit the more than half-million people left homeless by Typhoon Ketsana and subsequent disasters in the region. Many Cayman workers are from the Philippines and their families lost everything.

“Congratulations to everyone who worked on this fundraising campaign and a huge ‘Thank You” for the outpouring of generosity from the entire community,” said Demant Balgobin, disaster manager for the Cayman Islands Red Cross. “We want everyone to know that 100% of the monies raised will be going to the Philippines to support their recovery efforts.”

On Saturday, 10 October, every radio station in Grand Cayman held live remotes encouraging people to stop by and give. Donationlocations included all Foster’s Food Fair stores, Hurley’s Supermarket, Kirk Home Centre, Kirk’s Supermarket, and the Tortuga Rum Company in Industrial Park.

The island-wide radio-thon was organized by local Cayman businesses to support the Red Cross relief efforts. Companies involved include Cayman Islands Red Cross, CITN, Digicel, dms Broadcasting (HOT 104, CAYROCK, KISS, and X-107), Foster’s Food Fair, Hurley’s Entertainment (Rooster and Z-99), Kirk Home Centre, Kirk Supermarket, Paramount Media (VIBE and SPIN), and the Tortuga Rum Company. Donations through text messaging by Digicel customers, corporate contributions and the various school initiatives added to the final total.

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Bicycles will change lives in Vietnam

| 30/11/2009 | 5 Comments

(CNS): A fund raising effort in the Cayman Islands that will dramatically improve the lives of children in villages in Vietnam – one bike at a time – by helping them get to school without a 3-hour trek there and back, has already produced an outpouring of generosity.  A volunteer at a village school found that some of the children have to walk several hours to get to school because there no bus and they cannot afford a bicycle.

Sandra Ashmore, the sister of local real estate agent, Cathy Williams, has been living in Vietnam for the last seven months volunteering her time at an orphanage and at a local school in a poverty stricken area. Now Williams and Hilary McKenzie-Cahill have started a campaign, which they call ‘Little Feet Big Wheels’, to raise funds to buy bikes for the children. Each bike only costs US$21 and could change a child’s life forever in allowing them to get to school to get an education. ‘Little Feet Big Wheels’ has already raised around US$4,500, so the initial goal to raise funds for 100 bikes, which would be enough to buy one for every child in the entire village, has already been achieved. Now the organisers are now looking at expanding the project.

“When we put this into perspective, it’s unbelievable that such a small amount of money could have such a powerful effect on the life of a child,” said Williams. “I appreciate that at this time of year there are so many extremely worthwhile causes right on our door step. However, I have never felt like actually crying as I do when I realize what an enormous impact we can make on a single child’s life for 17 bucks. Getting to school without a three hour trek and being physically alert would mean these kids would have more of a chance of receiving an education that would change the course of their lives forever.”

Williams is asking for people to contribute as soon as possible so that she can get the funds to her sister to buy the bikes and get them to the village in bulk in time for Christmas.

To donate to ‘Little Feet Big Wheels’, email or

For more on this appeal, read New Bikes for Christmas, a Viewpoint by Sandra Ashmore.

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Merry Kwanzaa! – An African Christmas

| 13/11/2009 | 5 Comments

(CNS): Cosima “Tiggi” Kohl, a student in 3C at Cayman Prep, has donated a tree to a local marine preservation charity through “Smile Africa!”, a project set up by the 7 year old together with her mother, Jane Wareham. The tree has been donated to raise funds for the protection of maritime life in the Cayman Islands using decorations hand made in Southern Africa. One of the most rewarding results of the decoration of the tree donated by Smile Africa! is that the purchase of the ornaments are donated to sponsor children in Africa. A total of ninety children will receive food and clothing through the US registered charity, Charity USA and the Child Health Site.

The theme of the tree, one of twelve donated by local companies and individuals, is “Merry Kwanzaa! – An African Christmas”, in keeping with sponsorship by the “Smile Africa!” project started in April 2009 for the benefit of Facing Africa, a UK registered charity for the benefit of NOMA sufferers in North Africa. Kwanzaa is an African American and Pan-African holiday celebrated by millions throughout the world African community that brings a cultural message of what it means to be African and human in the fullest sense.

Cosima organised and collected the decorations and designed the tree herself (shown inset). The donation follows on from the Civvie Day organised in conjunction with Cayman Prep earlier in the year, that resulted in $1,200 for the benefit of Facing Africa and the George Town Hospital Paediatric Ward. The event raised over $14,0000 with the help of corporate sponsors such as Stuarts Attorneys, RBC Wealth Management, dms Management, Krys & Associates and other sponsors, showing once again that the finance industry in the Cayman Islands is not just about personal gain.

Further major fund raising events are planned for 2010 to raise money for the children who suffer from the devastating disease known as NOMA including an Ultra-Marathon to be held on 21 February 2010, details of which are to be published shortly.

By giving up so much time and energy to the donation of the tree, Cosimahopes that her behaviour will encourage and inspire others to do more.

Look for details of up coming events to be held for the benefit of Facing Africa to be announced shortly. Donations can be made by logging on to the main website at

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Christmas cards to help the environment

| 09/11/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): This year’s National Trust Christmas cards, which depict the festive season Cayman style, are now available with all proceeds from the sale of the cards going towards Trust projects. Created by local artist Debbie Chase van der Bol, the cards show a catboat and an underwater scene in front of the “Eldemire House” in Cayman Brac. The old Caymanian home, which was donated to the National Trust in 2005, was damaged by Hurricane Paloma last year and is now in need of repair, according to a release from the Trust. The cards are available from the National Trust Visitor Centre at Dart Park, and Pure Art Gift Shop, both in South Sound; as well as at the Mission House in Bodden Town and local book shops.

An image of the card is available on the Shopping Page of the National Trust website. Custom printing, with personalized messages, is also available. The cards are only CI$16 per pack of 10 cards. Contact the Trust at 749-1121 or to reserve your cards.

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NCVO Radio/Telethon

| 29/10/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The National Council of Voluntary Organisations will host its 30th annual fundraiser on Cayman 27 (Cable Channel 12) on Saturday, 7 November, which will take place at the Prospect Playhouse and will be simulcast on Radio Cayman from 7pm to midnight. This is the largest fundraiser held by the Organisation each year, and money raised helps to maintain and operate one of Cayman’s longest running charities – the NCVO.

Every year, with the support of Cayman 27 and Radio Cayman, the NCVO is lucky to attract an amazing level of talent for the evening. According to GIS, the list of entertainers lined up for this year includes Barefoot Man, Sea N’ B’, Earl Lapierre, Hi Tide, Ratskin and many others all of whom are donating their time and talent for this worthy cause. There will also be an opportunity to win one or more of over 50 prizes donated by more than 40 different companies for those who phone in and pledge on the night to 946-6136, the number sponsored by LIME. Prizes this year include jewelry, art work, a Blackberry phone from LIME, numerous gift certificates from popular stores and restaurants around the Island including the Lighthouse, Foster’s, Hobbies & Books and many, many more, too numerous to mention. There is also a grand prize of 2 round trip tickets to any Cayman Airways destination.

“The success of our Radio/Telethon is vital to the survival of the NCVO and its projects” explains Janice Wilson – CEO for the NCVO. “The community has always been very generous in their donations to our programmes and this year, given the difficult economic times, we are more in need of their support than ever. The need for our community programmes, particularly those that help local children, continues to increase and general donations are considerably down from previous years. We encourage as many people as possible to support the event, and to join us for a wonderful night of fun and entertainment.”

The NCVO is an independent, non-profit, charitable organisation that engages in projects to meet the ever-increasing social needs of the community. As one ofthe oldest charities in Cayman, having been in operation for over 30 years, they have grown substantially. Among the projects run by the NCVO are: the Nadine Andreas Residential Foster Home which houses ten children in need of care and protection; “Miss Nadine’s” Pre-School which provides pre-school education for seventy 2-5 year olds; Jack & Jill Nursery which cares for 16 babies, the Caring Cousins Welfare Fund and several others. The demand for the NCVO’s programmes increases every year and the organiser’s are hoping that this year’s event will receive the support necessary to continue its much needed projects.

This year marks the 30th NCVO annual fundraiser, and the NCVO hopes that CI $125,000 will be raised. Corporate donations are encouraged and the public is invited to come out and present their donations at the Prospect Playhouse or to phone in throughout the night of the 7th November on 946-3136 to make a pledge.

For more information or to make a donation to the NCVO prior to the Radio/Telethon, contact the NCVO at 949-2124 or, or log onto

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Local efforts aid Philippines after floods

| 26/10/2009 | 1 Comment

(CNS): One month after Tropical Storm Ketsana dumped the heaviest rains in more than 40 years on Philippines capital Manila, more than 1.5 million are left struggling to live in flooded suburbs or emergency shelters and the situation remains desperate. Ketsana hit the centre of Luzon island 26 September, flooding Manila and some areas in neighbouring provinces. Tropical Storm Parma hit northern Luzon 3 October, ruining rice crops in the nation’s second-biggest rice-producing region and triggering landslides.An ongoing fundraising effort in the Cayman Islands to help those affected has so far raised over $23,500 to help victims of the devastation.

 Although the country was spared a third storm, Lupit, this past weekend, its effects may still cause further landslides, adding to the misery left by Ketsana and Parma, which killed almost 1,000 people. Survivors now face disease and shortages of food and fresh water.

On Saturday, 10th October, every radio station in Grand Cayman held live remotes encouraging people to give to the Red Cross Philippines Disaster Relief Fund. Donation locations included all Foster’s Food Fair stores, Hurley’s Supermarket, Kirk Home Center, Kirk’s Supermarket, and the Tortuga Rum Company in Industrial Park.

“The funds raised here in Cayman will assist in providing shelter for some of the Filipino families left homeless,” said Hemant Balgobin of the Cayman Islands Red Cross. “The Red Cross in the Philippines in conjunction with the International Federation Red Cross aim to support 100,000 of those affected, providing fresh water and food, hygiene supplies and other necessities for these families.”

The island-wide radio-thon, which raised over CI$20,000, was organized by local Cayman businesses to support the Red Cross relief efforts. Companies involved include Cayman Islands Red Cross, CITN, Digicel, DMS Broadcasting (HOT 104, CAYROCK, KISS, and X-107), Foster’s Food Fair, Hurley’s Entertainment (Rooster and Z-99), Kirk Home Center, Kirk Supermarket, Paramount Media (VIBE and SPIN), and the Tortuga Rum Company.

Digicel customers can text short code 4244 or help to donate $1.00. Digicel will match the funds raised through texting. Donations from small and large businesses are also encouraged.

“This has been an amazing group effort which came together very quickly,” said Jeremy Ebanks, general manager, Tortuga Rum Company. “All of Cayman can be proud of the generosity of so many individuals that will help the people of the Philippines. Now we want businesses to join in this cause.”

“dms Broadcasting was proud to be part of this important fundraising effort,” commented dms Broadcasting Market Manager Bryan Hollenbaugh. Adding some entertainment to the mix, dms Broadcasting on-air personalities broadcasted live from each of their respective locations, speaking with passers-by and playing Cayman’s hottest hits for shoppers and listeners alike. Foster’s Food Fair staff was also on hand during the efforts, offering up hot dogs and waters for a $2 donation.

dms Broadcasting’s Network Promotions and Marketing Manager Phil Vinciullo, “The Filipino population is one of Cayman’s largest expatriate communities, and upon hearing about the effects Typhoon Ketsana had on their friends and families back home, dms Broadcasting was determined to help. We hope to join together again for efforts like this one so remember to keep your dials tuned to your favourite dms Broadcasting station to find out how you can get involved!”

On Cayman Brac, the Backyard Caboose Theatre Company and the Brac Filipino community hosted a successful variety show and food sale on Friday, Oct 16th 2009 at the Aston Rutty Civic Centre, raising over three thousand dollars. The total money raised from both food sales and the show is CI$3,507, which will be sent to ABS CBN Foundation Incorporation.

Want to help?

Find a Red Cross collection drop box or deposit cash and checks, payable to the Red Cross, into Bank of Butterfield: Red Cross Philippines Relief Fund # 02201035054. For more information, contact the Cayman Islands Red Cross at 949-6785 ext. 27.

Or ABS CBN Foundation Incorporation account # 563-0020111 Banco de Oro, Mother Ignacia Branch, Swift Code, BNORPHM ABS CBN BDO Branch.

About CNS Christmas Appeal: CNS will be featuring a number of charities with local connections in the run up to Christmas. If you would like to promote your charity this season, please email

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Cayman reaches out to devastated Philippines

| 01/10/2009 | 20 Comments

(CNS): With hundreds dead, many missing and more than 450,000 suddenly homeless in the Philippines following devastating floods caused by Typhoon Ketsana, local Cayman businesses have come together to raise money for the Red Cross Philippines Relief Fund. As the Filipino people look at how to survive the coming months, the country has appealed for foreign aid to deal with the disaster. More than a month’s worth of rain fell on the capital, Manila in just 24 hours flooding 80% of the city, and the homes of nearly 1.9 million people were inundated by flood water over the weekend. (Watch the BBC video Flooded Philippines needs aid)

Businesses in the Cayman Islands will be doing their part, starting on Saturday, 10 October, when a Radio-thon will be held at all major supermarkets across the island and select Tortuga Rum Company locations. The following Sunday, 18 October, a gathering is being planned for the Filipino community to show support and raise funds for the flood victims.

“This disaster has really hit us close to home. So many of our workers are from the Philippines and their families have lost everything,” Jeremy Ebanks, general manager of Tortuga Rum Company in a release. “This is a community wide effort and we encourage all businesses interested in participating to get in touch with our local Red Cross office.”

Companies involved in planning these fundraisers include DMS Broadcasting (HOT 104, CAYROCK, KISS, and X-107), Cayman Islands Red Cross, Foster’s Food Fair, Hurley’s Entertainment (Rooster and Z-99), CITN, Paramount Media (VIBE and SPIN), and the Tortuga Rum Company.

Every radio station in Grand Cayman will be promoting the Radio-thon and participate in live-remotes on the 10th October from 10am to 4pm. Locations will include all Foster’s Food Fair stores, Kirk’s Supermarket, Hurley’s Supermarket and the Tortuga Rum Company in Industrial Park.

To make donations, the Red Cross has set up an account at the Bank of Butterfield: Red Cross Philippines Relief Fund # 02201035054.

Businesses interested in joining this community-wide effort should contact the office of the Cayman Islands Red Cross at 949-6785 ext. 27.


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