Almost $2m pledged to Dart seed cash

| 01/05/2020 | 38 Comments

(CNS): A new foundation has been created by the Dart Group to manage the private sector fund announced earlier this month to support readiness, relief and recovery efforts in the Cayman Islands when needed, including dealing with the current impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund was seeded with CI$1 million from Ken Dart and since then additional commitments of nearly $2 million have been made by individuals and corporations in the private sector.

A press release from R3 Cayman Foundation, which will manage the fund, said that the money will be used in the event of any natural or man-made emergency or disaster, including, but not exclusive to, COVID-19. Once incorporated, R3 Foundation Cayman will be registered as a non-profit organisation.

In addition to the initial donation, Dart has pledged to match other private sector donations up to another CI$4 million.

“By pooling resources and expertise, the private sector can leverage its strengths to make an invaluable contribution to each of the three islands’ preparation, response and resilience in times of national emergency,” said Mark VanDevelde, CEO of Dart Enterprises.

“Drawing on the new Foundation Company legislation, R3 Cayman Foundation’s Board of Directors will be responsible for all decisions from this point forward, including how funds will be allocated towards readiness, relief and recovery efforts for COVID-19 and national emergencies in the future,” he added.

The foundation will complement existing government-led efforts by supporting local non-profit organisations with funding for projects in the three Rs of a disaster cycle.

These are ‘readiness’, which involves safeguarding the Cayman Islands by preparing for a range of potential natural (biological, climatological) or man-made (technical, chemical) disasters; ‘relief’, which is coordinating assistance for people or entities affected by a disaster or emergency; and ‘recovery’, which is rebuilding communities, stimulating the economy and protecting the environment through short and mid-term initiatives.

This foundation is now in the final phase of being established and the directors include Joannah Bodden Small, Annikki Brown, Pilar Bush, Chris Duggan, Woody Foster, Richard Hew, Bryan Hunter, Nicoela McCoy, Carla Reid and David Ritch. Governor Martyn Roper will serve as principal, a key governance role with sole authority for the appointment and removal of supervisors. Former attorney general Richard Coles will be appointed as a supervisor.

The board will meet in the coming days to begin mapping the priority areas for COVID-19 related funding.

“The intent of R3 Cayman Foundation is to complement the good work already being done in our community and consolidate private sector support of organisations active in these areas,” said Woody Foster. By collaborating and communicating with non-profits and government agencies, we can ensure a more efficient and thoughtful distribution of funds.”

The law firm Appleby advised on the new Foundation Company structure and local accounting firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers has indicated its willingness to provide annual audit services pro bono.

Meanwhile, Government has also confirmed that the Cayman Islands National Recovery Fund formed in the wake of Hurricane Ivan in 2004 will also be relaunched.

“The two funds will collaborate closely and enable Cayman to be even more resilient in tackling the threats that we all face from natural and man-made disasters,” said Governor Martyn Roper.

Premier Alden McLaughlin said Cayman had a good track record of dealing with crisis. “COVID 19 has pushed the boundaries of resilience around the world and with this year’s hurricane season predicted to be a particularly active one, it is important that we use every resource we have to keep everyone safe,” he said.

With government and Private Sector collaborating on supply issues for testing and PPE testing the premeir said the foundation and the recovery funds will be important “as we move forward into uncharted waters”.     

More information will be available about the foundation when the website goes live.

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Comments (38)

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  1. Robert Mugabe IV says:

    Well done Dart group 👍 A fund with millions that cannot be touched by idiotic MLA’s. 👍👍

    The amount of begrudging rectum holes on here is sad but not surprising. If you would for just one minute close your eyes and envisage everything the DART group has put into this island like Caymana Bay, roads, hotels, parks, multitudes of donations to every corner of the islands. Then open your eyes and realise what would be in its place if it was never there.
    For one, a lot of unemployed Caymanians and a lot of Caymanian families that would still be in dire straits.(not the band)
    I can hear ye now, the mangroves,the mangroves, the bush, the weeds. What about all that you say. Who did DART buy ALL their land from? Greedy Caymanians that’s who. They didn’t care what happened to their land once their pockets were full.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I don’t really know what to make of this. On the face of it ‘The Fund’ appears that it won’t be instrumental at all in immediately helping out any of the small business owners as well as those that have lost their tourism related livelihoods or cc anyone else. Instead it appears to be a backup mechanism for Govt shortfall in the future despite being set up now and the Country being told we were in good standing to deal with the crisis. Essentially The Fund and it’s Directorship appear to realise Mr Premier’s claim to be inadequate and likely the same at some point in the future. Whilst we endure this extensive lockdown and obvious alert and concern to Govt’s cash reserve, has anyone to begin with considered where the funding is going to come from for those needing extortionately expensive medical procedures (inclusive of specialist offshore) now that they are no longer employed and void of any medical coverage for as forecast probably the next year ? Nog being ungrateful but from my understanding in this article, it doesn’t sound like ’The Fund’ is anything more than a private members broader National Trust.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Would like to express my gratitude to Mr. Dart and the directors of the foundation…keep up the good work…we should have a little more respect for individuals that is trying to assist. A Caymanian.

  4. Anonymous says:

    The board members of the new R3 Cayman Foundation clearly lack the qualifications and experience relating to disaster cycles. There are far more qualified persons with real experience and qualifications in disaster management.

    CNS: This isn’t a government entity and it’s not asking for government funds. The point is, if you start a foundation, you can put who you like on the board. Anyone contemplating whether or not to contribute can take the board members into account. Like it or not, so long as the foundation remains withing the bounds of the law, it is not accountable to the public. However, it is money that will be used for the public good that wasn’t there before.

    • Anonymous says:

      I like the CNS comment; not the original armchair quarterback who probably doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

  5. Anon says:

    Ok accounting and law firms, lawyers and accountants, real estate agents and developers and various others who’ve made many, many millions on these islands, time to step up and give back some of that which you’ve made over the years.

  6. Participant says:

    How does one participate in this fund and who is the contact to get further info?

  7. Anonymous says:

    With that board, I’ll make my donations elsewhere thanks.

  8. Anonymous says:

    The committee for the reopening of the economy is also heavily connected to Dart.The CEO for Dart. A partner of an accounting firm that is a tenant of Dart. The general contractor for one of Dart’s construction projects and lastly, the father of one of the people on Dart’s R3 board.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well who the hell do you want? At least these people have a record of getting things done and finished.

    • Anonymous says:

      @3:47 Would you prefer the donors just take their money back and say the hell with it? Why don’t you and the other negative Nancys here, start a private fund out of your pockets to benefit the community? Geez, stupid people don’t know they’re stupid.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Such and interesting mixture of board members: The wife of a partner of an accounting firm that is a Dart tennant.A Dart tennant who owns a large supermarket.A Dart employee.A government minister’s brother and CUC CEO.An ex-CUC chairman.A lawyer and his sister in law.
    Granted, on such a small island it is difficult to avoid such close connections but I found these connections amusing. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Two Dart employees and the mother of another, try to keep up.

    • Anonymous says:

      The wife of the partner also happens to be a lawyer so there’s that.

    • Anonymous says:

      Your comment wreaks of cynicism and deliberately ignores the contribution of these individuals. Find me a professional in Cayman that doesn’t have a first, second or third degree of connection to Dart? Maybe you missed how expansive Dart’s role and presence is in this country.

      Let’s state this another way:

      Joannah Bodden Small – UK qualified attorney, 14 years at Maples, stay at home mother of 3, grand daughter of Sir Vassel Johnson and member of the National Trust

      Woody Foster – established businessman, distinguished Rotarian who has given years and years of service to the Cayman community, founder of LIFE literacy if for everyone, Chairman of the Cayman Foodbank and sitting President of the Chamber of Commerce, the largest private sector membership association in the Cayman Islands

      Chris Duggan and Pilar Bush – yes Dart employees, both do extensive volunteer work in the community, Hospice, Big Sisters mentoring, RCIPs volunteering before that Butterfield and Dept of Tourism.

      Richard Hew – Head of the local electricity company and sponsors of youth sports

      David Ritch – well known local attorney with extensive board experience in banking, law, immigration and yes, CUC

      Bryan Hunter – recently retired managing partner of Appleby, engineer and lawyer, volunteer with basketball association

      Carla Reid – environmentalist, local businesswoman, splits time between Grand and Little, former Chair of National Trust and Chair of the Tourism Attractions Board, helps with animal charities and conservation efforts.


    • Anonymous says:

      Agree – same old cronies who will look after the same old group of not for profits run by wives of dart employees and his cronies who serve his purpose.

  10. Anonymous says:

    How much are the other developers and real estate moguls committing? Utility companies, and their tycoon management suites? How about the Shipping magnates? The Accounting and Legal Partnerships? For many of our capitalists, their yearly philanthropy outgoing consists of a couple posh company tables at a champagne-fueled black ties, and a dozen little league jerseys. Now is the time to open those thick bill folds, that have never closed properly, and weigh-in proportionately as a corporate citizen.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think all of the other real estate guys and gals are basically just lending their inspirational support to show how much they care.

      • Anonymous says:

        I see those that use their giving as a PR campaign. Fine, but the little they donate is embarrassing and in my eyes makes them look not only cheap for promoting their giving but also cheap in monetary amounts. FFS if you’re going to donate and pay it on a billboard make sure it’s an amount that makes sense to your wealth. A $25k donation fro. millionaires is like $250 to the test of us.

    • Anonymous says:

      What about the Cayman headquartered law firms? Nothing. Lots of take but nothing back into the society.

  11. Linda says:

    How many mangroves will be destroyed in the establishment of this Foundation?

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