Sponsors step up at 11th hour

| 31/12/2014

(CNS): Following the revelations on Cayman News Service Tuesday that the National Drug Council was unable to find backers to support the annual New Year’s Eve Purple Ribbon Bus, three last minute sponsors came forward yesterday afternoon and the service will now run. Cayman National Bank and Jacques Scott stepped up with the first part of the cash required, and the Health City Cayman Islands topped up the amount to enable the government agency to run the free service that helps keep the roads safe following the NYE celebrations. The police had raised their concerns that the service was not running as the buses carry well over a thousand people home safely.

The NDC said the bus will now run from 9pm on New Year’s Eve until 4am on New Year’s Day. Having found the sponsors at the last minute following the CNS story, this will now mark the 14th year since the inception of the programme aimed at reducing the number of drinking and driving incidents.

“We know that many of our residents and visitors make every effort to drink responsibly or designate a driver. However, there are still many people who remain confident in their abilities to drink and then drive safely, regardless of the evidence and information available which clearly indicates the negative impacts of drinking and driving,” said Joan West-Dacres, the NDC director.

There will be approximately six buses from Reid’s Premier Tours running a regular route from West Bay to George Town on New Year’s Eve between the hours of 9pm and 4am, with intermittent travel available to the Eastern Districts of Bodden Town, East End and North Side.

The buses will display Purple Ribbons on the front and will pick up passengers at all major restaurants, bars and nightclubs, or at regular bus stops on the route.  If you see a bus approaching you can signal the driver for a pick up.

“On behalf of the National Drug Council, I wish to again extend our appreciation to our sponsors of the 2014 Purple Ribbon Bus Service, Health City Cayman, Jacques Scott Group Limited and Cayman National Bank. I would like to encourage each of you to take advantage of this opportunity to ensure you arrive home safely. The NDC wishes you a SAFE and Happy New Year,” said West-Dacres.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I love the drunk bus – its the best party of the night!

  2. Anonymous says:

    All liquor distributors in Cayman that profit from the sustained daily bingements of locals and visitors, should be morally obliged to contribute to a socially responsible fund to locally benefit alcohol education, addiction treatment, domestic violence shelters, liver and alcohol-related health problems, DUI tragedy avoidance programs….and the scant shillings for this annual New Years bus.

    At the very least, the sales reps for the Champagne or other liquor labels might have sponsored this transportation program from the get-go – one would have thought that would be a no-brainer.  

  3. Anonymous says:

    Too bad. I thought the drunks were going to learn a lesson about being responsible for their own behavior. Oh well, maybe in rehab… Some day. 

  4. Anonymous says:

                          It is unfortunate that Jacques Scott is the only liquor establishment to step up and contribute to this programme ,even if only at the last minute. One would have thought that the people who stand to make the most money ,whilst at the same time contribute the most to the necessity for such a service ,would have been the first to step up,but it did not happen this time. I am talking about liquor dealerships,bars,clubs restaurants,caterers and other organizers of New Years Eve events.I hope some of them will now come forward and repay the HSA its contribution towards the cost; remember if there are accidents /incidents involving injuries as a result of someone being drunk,HSA will likely end up contributing again when a patient is uninsured.

    • Anonymous says:

      Just for the record Jacques Scott's offer was not "last minute". The company offered tohelp when approached several weeks ago but it seems there were not enough other offers at that time. Happy New Year.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Maybe next year the numerous bars that are selling tickets for New Year events can put some of the profits aside and donate to the bus. After all it is their clientele that will be using it . What a great to show some responsibility and to indicate that they care about the welfare of the people they are supplying with booze. 

  6. whitegirlwasted says:

    Too little too late. I've already made plans to drive drunk.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations and than you to these fantastic corporate citizens who,stepped up to sponsor this needy service. Happy and safe New Year to all