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Dart donates over US$52,000 to support scholarship for mental health studies

Health Care 20 Feb, 2023 Follow News

Dart Chief of Staff, Joanne Lawson, (2nd from right) and Manager Community Development, Dominic Ross, (far right) made the presentation to the Kelly Family.

Company matches funds raised at Addison Kelly Butterfly 5K Walk/Run


Dart has committed over US$52,000 to support the academic journeys of students pursuing mental health studies.

The donation was made to the Addison Kelly Memorial Scholarship with Dart matching funds raised through registrations and donations for the inaugural Addison Kelly Butterfly 5k Walk/Run on 4 February 2023. Nearly 1,000 participants showed up for the early morning event that saw runners and walkers traverse the roadways and footpaths around Camana Bay.

Addison Kelly was a Caymanian teenager who was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression at age 15, with an additional diagnosis of borderline personality disorder being made in the following months. Even as she fought daily for her mental health, “Addi,” as she was affectionately known, maintained a positive attitude and kept a smile on her face. However, on Tuesday, 8 February 2022, she succumbed to her illnesses, taking her life at 16-years old.

“When Addi was in treatment, she spoke often about wanting to study to become a therapist and/or psychiatrist when she got older so she could help others who were experiencing similar challenges, especially in her beloved home, the Cayman Islands,” said her mother, Rhonda Kelly, who noted Addi had researched colleges which offered programmes in these fields, and in her more hopeful moments was looking forward to making a difference in her world.

The Addison Kelly Memorial Scholarship was created by the Kelly family to enable persons in Cayman who have a desire to help people struggling with mental illnesses do so. “Addi had a team of incredible therapists and doctors who helped her through many challenging times, but we know that there is an urgent need in Cayman for more trained specialists in this field,” Kelly said.

Dart Manager Community Development Dominic Ross said although the company paid for its staff to participate in the 5K event, it was compelled to demonstrate stronger support.

“In recent years we have seen the increased demand across all demographics in our community for access to qualified mental health professionals. We are optimistic that these funds, along with what was raised by the Kelly family, will help increase the pool of available mental health support resources for the benefit of the Cayman Islands community for years to come.”

Kelly expressed thanks to Dart for their support. “We were heartened when we heard of this incredible gesture. It means so much and we are excited to see how these funds will help a Caymanian acquire the tools and education to help other Caymanians who are struggling with mental health,” she said.

The Addison Kelly Memorial Scholarship is awarded for up to a maximum of four (4) years for a post-graduate degree or other certification from an accredited overseas institution, with annual renewal subject to academic performance. It is administered through the Alex Panton Foundation, a non-profit organisation, with support from the Kelly family. 

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