The power of the purse

March was Honouring Women Month and was celebrated in the Cayman Islands this year, with a series of events and programmes to celebrate and support the advancement of women and girls. 


To mark the 100th Year Anniversary of International Women’s Day, Betty Baraud and Nicole Wild, of Baraud & Wild created the most amazing tribute to celebrate women, the Power of the Purse Luncheon, at Café Ortanique, held on International Women’s day, 5 March, 2011. This very special luncheon was organised to honour, celebrate, transform and empower women in the Cayman Islands and at the same time, to raise much-needed funds for those charities on the island, supporting women and girls. 

Betty and Nicole selected Café Ortanique, not only for its great food and ambience, but to also recognise and honour an incredible female chef on the island, Cindy Hutson, the owner and executive chef at Ortanique. In support of the 100th year anniversary, 100 ladies were invited to this first of its kind ever event, where everyone enjoyed an extensive array of 100 elegant purses and accessories at the silent auction/live auction and a wonderful lunch prepared by Chef Cindy. 

In attendance was the Deputy Premier, Julianna O’Conner Connolly, who was the keynote speaker, Governor’s wife Marie Beatrice Taylor and other distinguished guests. The keynote address given by Julianna O’Connor Connolly was, according to the organisers, one of the most humbling, yet powerful and inspiring speeches ever given. 

“The entire room went into a silent and careful listening mode, so as not to miss a word of the Deputy Premier’s speech,” Betty Baraud says. 

Mistress of Ceremonies, Sheena Hurlstone was also the auctioneer for the live auction and did a fantastic job in helping to raise funds for the occasion. At the end of the day everyone agreed that this event had to be produced annually and Betty and Nicole confirmed that this would definitely happen. 

All funds raised will go to three charities selected by Betty and Nicole, namely: The Cayman Islands Crisis Centre; Frances Bodden Girls Home and Family Resource Centre (formerly the Women’s Resource Centre).  

According to Angie Chan, an Audit Manager at PwC, the final tally will be approximately CI $12,000.00 and will be equally divided between the three charities noted.  

Organisers Betty and Nicole were very pleased by the incredible outpouring of support: “We are most appreciative and overwhelmed by the generous donations and the enthusiasm, willingness and support shown by everyone,” the duo say, and look forward to everyone’s support and attendance again next year. 

Much appreciation and gratitude go to the 100 donors, whose contributions helped to make the event a success. In addition to the 100 purses, “The Mangrove Maiden” artwork created by LA Peterson who flew in from Miami for the event and two exclusive designer necklaces auctioned by Licia Mattioli, who was a special guest at the event, were definitely highlights of the luncheon. 


Joyce Lindsay, Avril Brophy, Nicole Wild and Linda Petersen