By Christopher Tobutt
It was Legends time again in West Bay. Some years ago, Mr. Brent Hydes, himself something of a local legend footballer, fell on difficult times. It’s a long story of how he had the vision to do something – something big – to finally make a change, not only in his life, but the life of many friends in Cayman who were caught in a nightmare of no-hope through substance abuse, but that is how eventually the Hope for Today Foundation, was born.
The foundation offers a halfway-house for recovering addicts to stay so that they have the chance to get clean and stay clean and put their lives back together, through an established 12-step programme. But all homes have bills, and Hope For Today needs funds to keep going so that all its clients get the support they need when supporting themselves is difficult. There are plenty of people, and companies who step up to the plate and give whatever they can. That is what makes fundraising events like Clash of the Legends – the get together of football heroes of Cayman’s not-forgotten football Hall of Fame, from East End and West Bay, not just fundraisers but legendary community get-togethers, too. There was a bouncy castle, provided by Party Source, food from Island Taste, and lots more people who made the day a big success. But the stars, of course were the football legends. “The Foundation is having a family fun day, where the old footballers are going to play and show their skills. The foundation is trying to give some support to the community for all the support they have gotten over the years,” Mr. Hydes said, as hot dogs sizzled and people made the best of the rainy weather, in Grand West Bay style.
There might have been lots and lots of rain but in the end the guys from East End got all the way to the Ed Bush Stadium in West Bay with their coach, Brent McLean. “We want to support it because we feel that it is beneficial. I speak to Brent all the time and substance abuse in the community, we believe that we as a community have to do whatever we can to help these people because a lot of these people can’t get the help they need, and this is the way forward for them. Everybody that is on my team believes in that same vision so that is why we are always here whenever he calls and says we want to do this.”
Beverly Barnes helps the Foundation whenever she can, because the Foundation helped her. She has been clean for seven years, she says, after the nightmare of 15 years as a crack cocaine addict. “I was addicted to crack cocaine for 15 years. I did anything and everything to get crack cocaine. I would rob and steal, I was in and out of prison,” she said. “My life has changed immensely I work at the Pines retirement home now, and it’s been wonderful. I love my life today.”
The game started late, but the guys put on a great match, with the West Bay team winning against East End, two great goals to legendary goal. It’s great to have a win for the home side, sometimes, and Hope for Today is always part of the winning team, because homes win, and the community wins through the work that it does.