(CMR) Bàcaro brought the community together earlier this month for a fundraiser that raised $20,376 for the Alex Panton Foundation (APF). Continuing their commitment to support mental health and the Cayman community, this was the second fundraiser held by management for the APF. The first, a pajama party was held in July 2019, raised over $19,000 for the foundation’s programs.
Friday’s ‘Off With His Locks’ fundraiser held May 14 was the brainchild of Fede, a waiter at Bacaro, who had been growing his dreadlocks for over 10 years. Looking for a change in hairstyle, he was also looking for a way to support the Cayman community.
“This past year has really been a trying one for all of us, especially those of us in the hospitality industry. There has been so much uncertainty, and I have seen people near and far who have struggled with the ups and downs of the year. In talking with Barney, we all agreed that we wanted to take the opportunity to rally the community together to support a cause we all stand behind, mental health,” said Fede.
Live music from Vibe Tribe set the tone for a fun night, while Woody Dacosta took the mic to auction the chance to chop off each of Fede’s 60+ locks. The competition was rife as guests outbid each other opening their wallets and hearts – with the largest set coming in at a bid of $1000. With winning bidders being offered a chance to take scissors to his locks, celebrity hairstylist Pasquale Caselle volunteered his time and expertise to ensure a pleasant overall outcome for Fede’s head of hair.
“When Fede approached us with this idea, we didn’t hesitate. Unfortunately in 2020, we had to skip our fundraiser for the APF, but this was the perfect opportunity to get our patrons, community, and friends together to support education and program efforts that have truly been making a difference in decreasing barriers to access to help”, said Restaurant Manager and owner, Barney.
Funds were also raised via the sale of specialty cocktails and raffle tickets for a half-day boat charter on luxury charter ‘Miss Beautiful’ (a value of $1850), which was generously donated by Family Time Watersports.
Not only did the management team support the initiative, but they also promised to match, without limit, every dollar that was raised.
“Knowing that all of the funds we raised would go directly to paying for support services for those seeking mental health help but are unable to afford it, we didn’t think twice. The work that the team at the APF do is desperately needed in our community, and we are proud to be committed supporters”, stated Head Chef and owner Federico Destro.
Upon receiving the cheque, board member and APF program facilitator Shane Purcell had this to say: “In a time when many hospitality establishments are themselves struggling, we cannot thank the staff and management at Bacaro enough for putting their community first in not only hosting and organizing a fundraiser of this scale but also using their own funds to match what was raised. Events like this not only financially support the foundation but help to eradicate the stigma around mental illness through education, awareness, and advocacy”.