When Red Sail Sports opened its doors for business in Grand Cayman more than 25 years ago, management made community involvement one of its core principles, and this summer the company continued to demonstrate this commitment by focusing its contributions to assisting youth sports and a variety of selected charities. Parent company the Red Sail Group contributed financially to the Special Olympics Cayman Islands, the Six4Hospice Challenge and Sail Sports participated in summer youth programmes. It also hired a number of young Caymanians who completed a work experience programme with the company.
Operations Manager Rod McDowall: “Schools and education remain a top priority so we help when we can. The Red Sail Group takes its community service obligations seriously and that’s why we stay involved all year long.”
“It’s fantastic! A most needed boost during this quiet time,” said Derek Haines of the US $25,000 donation recently made by the Red Sail Group to Six4Hospice. Haines has pledged to raise $1 million by running six marathons in one year and he has already completed four. The proceeds will be used to build a permanent inpatient care facility for Cayman Hospice Care, and Haines says the donation helps keep up the momentum during this slow season. “Because of hurricane season, I decided not to run a race at this time so there is a three-month gap in fundraising,” he said.
Red Sail Sports also pledged $10,000 to the Special Olympics Cayman Islands (SOCI), something it has done for a number of years. In addition to monetary donations, the company also makes one of its 65-foot luxury catamarans available to the SOCI every month to help generate additional income. The Red Sail Sports sales team will be assisting the Special Olympics with this fundraising effort by promoting the catamaran sails in the local business community and assisting with bookings. The proceeds from the charter all go to benefit SOCI programs.
“The Red Sail Group is a model organization when it comes to community involvement with corporate social responsibility,” said Nick Freeland of the Special Olympics Cayman Islands. “The Group is a long-term supporter of Special Olympics Cayman Islands and this relationship really is a partnership. Not only has the Red Sail Group (RSG) been extremely generous financially to our organization over many years, but their staff and family members support the training programs for our athletes as volunteers.”
As the SOCI Sports Director, Penny McDowall makes it a family affair. The Red Sail Group is also a Silver Sponsor of the annual Eric Crutchley Memorial Golf Tournament, and it also provides support with jobs.
“Finding employment for our athletes is not always easy and here again the Red Sail Group has stepped up,” says Freeland. “Special Olympics athlete Andrew Smiley has been working with them for a number of years.”
In 2015 SOCI is sending its largest delegation ever to the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles and Freeland says they will need all the financial support they can get. “So again, a big thank you from SOCI to Attlee Bodden, Adrien Briggs, Rod McDowall, Bill Edwards and the whole team at the Red Sail Group who support our programs and our athletes.”
As one of the island’s largest employers and one recognized for providing an excellent workplace filled with opportunity, Red Sail Sports also hired students who successfully completed an eight-month work experience programme. The students now on staff came to Red Sail Sports through the Cayman Islands Further Education Centre (CIFEC) programme. Julian Smith has joined the beach crew at Morritts Tortuga at East End, and Frank Morales is now a full-time beach employee at the Seven Mile Beach locations. Morales has been actively involved in the company’s Aqua Rangers Summer Camp teaching kids ages 8 – 14 how to snorkel, paddleboard, kayak, sail and enjoy other watersports. Another student who is spending the summer learning the watersports industry at Rum Point is Shea Martin a participant in the government’s Passport to Success Programme, which helps unemployed young people who have left school learn a trade.
Red Sail Sports also sponsored the Summer Get Active Challenge to promote healthy living among teens. Red Sail Sports was a supporter of the 12-week Get Active Challenge to help children get fit and learn about healthy living. Kids participated in beach boot camp and watersports activities. The initiative’s goal was to educate participants and their families about making more nutritious choices at home and away from home.
“The program was a great privilege to be a part of and it was inspiring to see the kids improve over the course of the program. The team building beach games were a huge hit among the kids” said Gary Chernowski, Watersports Manager.
“As Red Sail Sports continues to grow we will share our success with those organizations in the local community that need it, not just financially, but in other ways,” said McDowall.