By Lindsey Turnbull
George Town resident Dawn Bodden is the winner of the much-anticipated draw for $100,000 as donated by DMS, a draw in which all residents who had been vaccinated in the Cayman Islands were entered, with the winner randomly generated by computer. Mrs Bodden, who is born and raised in George Town, is married, and a mum of two, and works as an executive for KPMG, having worked there for 24 years.
Mrs Bodden said she had been brought into the drawing event as “one of the finalists”, never realising that she had actually won the huge sum of money. Initially she said she had “no idea” what she would do and then said she’d do “everything” with the money.
“I will definitely help whomever I can and bank some,” she confirmed.
Tourism Minister Kenneth Bryan congratulated Mrs Bodden and said before the money was even announced she had gone and done the right thing.
“The world is going through some difficult times and getting vaccinated is the right thing because it protects us all, so thank you for doing that,” he said.
Premier Wayne Panton was at the drawing event, which took place on Monday 22 November, and underscored the importance of people taking up the vaccine.
“From the moment this government came into office we understood we really needed to push our vaccination rate in the country. We thought it was going to be very important for us. I think where we are now – we do have a lot of Covid transmission going on – but what is reflected is the reality that our vaccination rate has had a big impact on minimising the number of people that are sick and in hospital.
Ministers challenged each other to try and get constituents out to try and overcome vaccine hesitancy, the Premier said, and he singled out Minister Bryan as one individual who had pushed the vaccine drive, calling him a “tireless lobbyist” who pursued people in both the public and private sectors to encourage vaccination uptake.
Today, Cayman was benefitting from those efforts, through his efforts and through the actions of DMS, named after its founder, Caymanian Don Seymour.
“I want to thank the organisation and Don for stepping forward and accepting the challenge and see the need to assist with this programme,” the Premier said.
He also said that a huge amount of effort went into the draw, ensuring that everyone who had taken their vaccine were included, as well as people helping to ensure people got vaccinated.
New vaccine challenge for Christmas
Minister Bryan said added his thanks to Mr Seymour and the DMS team.
He called for Cayman to try and reach a new target of vaccinations:
“I wanted to see if we could set a new goal,” he advised. “A lot of people said we would never make 80% of our population and we did it. More than 80. And I think we can do even better than that, as the science evolves and the availability for different age groups continues to increase…I think we can get the country even higher than that because continued uptake of the vaccine is what’s going to keep the country safe. So how about we challenge ourselves before Christmas could we get to 85% of our population?”
DMS spokesperson Adrienne Politowicz said DMS had promoted the drive over 15 weeks via their radio and digital media platforms and created a website called caymanians.org that gave information about vaccinations and Covid-19. The campaign had gained international recognition for the vaccination drive.
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