On Friday May 14th, Bàcaro brought the community together for a fundraiser that raised $20,376.00 for the Alex Panton Foundation (APF). Continuing their commitment to supporting 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 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 – specially 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 and Fede, 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. 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”, offered Restaurant Manager and owner, Barney.
Funds were also raised via the sale of specialty cocktails, and through the sale of 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, they 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 programme 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”.
About Bacaro Cayman
Founded in 2017, Bàcaro is the dream of Federico Destro and Barney Bako - Two friends, passionate about creating good memories for good friends sharing good food. Unlike traditional Venetian bàcaro, most of which don’t even have tables, Bàcaro offers full seating and service in a number of different environments all within the same venue. Whether you’re looking for a view of the West Bay Yacht Club, waterfront dining, or a cosy contemporary-rustic lounge vibe, Bàcaro has it all. While the service focuses on relaxed, elegant excellence, menus have a variety of sharing tapas plates for indulgence for one or in a group. Get to know more about the Bàcaro by heading over to www.bacaro.ky.
About the Alex Panton Foundation
Established in memory of Alex Panton, who succumbed to the effects of severe depression at the age of 16 in October 2010, the APF is a not-for-profit foundation company. Its primary objective is raising awareness of mental illnesses affecting children and young adults in the Cayman Islands, with a particular focus on anxiety and depression. In July 2017, a group of Alex’s friends and family came together with the common goal of educating the public about mental illness in children and young people and reducing the stigma toward mental illness in the Cayman Islands. On 20 February 2018, Walkers Global incorporated the APF as a foundation company, with Alex’s parents as founders and directors. The APF was registered as a non-profit organisation (“NPO”) on 12 June 2018. Alex’s parents are supported by Alex’s friends and additional volunteers who have collectively formed an Executive Committee that runs the APF.