A total of 86 cyclists, including 13 children, participated in the third annual PAWS On Wheels fundraising cycling event last week.
Founded in 2010 by Giuseppe and Susanna Gatta, Alex Stewart and Marleine Gagnon, PAWS (Protection of Animal Welfare Society) is a local non-profit that works to alleviate the suffering of animals in need, particularly in the eastern districts.
The ride on Sept. 3 started at 7 a.m. at The Lighthouse Restaurant in Breakers, with many participants arriving on their bicycles rather than by car.
While some riders opted to cycle a 10-mile course, most participants cycled the full 21 miles around East End and finished their ride at The Lighthouse.
The Cayman Islands Cycling Association supported the ride by ensuring the safety of the riders at intersections, and placing traffic cones and signs along the route. In addition, the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service provided an escort for the convoy of riders as they made their way around the East End loop, offering the participants further protection.
Following the ride, all participants were treated to a continental breakfast buffet and raffle prize draw at The Lighthouse. Over 20 gift certificates — and one deluxe Huffy bicycle — were donated by local restaurants and businesses to be awarded to the riders during the random prize draw.
The funds raised by the PAWS On Wheels fundraiser will go to support the non-profits varied community efforts, which include financial assistance to families whose animals are in need of veterinary care or pet supplies, a spay and neuter programme, FREE community dog washes, and boarding for injured, abused, and/or neglected animals while they await adoption.
“We are so grateful for the continued support of the local cycling community, and all the businesses who lend their financial support to this event and our organisation,” Mr. Gatta said. “With the number of animal abuse cases seemingly on the rise, the work of PAWS, and other charities like it, is more important than ever.”
Mr. Gatta also expressed his gratitude, on behalf of PAWS, to the many volunteers and main sponsors who made the event possible, including BCQS, Pappagallo Restaurant, Lighthouse Restaurant, Jacques Scott Group Ltd., Caribbean Gourmet, Colin Shaw & Co, Island Supply, Dr. Joe Jackman, Progressive Distributors Ltd. and Gatorade.