YCLA 2012

Several weeks ago, NS and I attended the annual Young Caymanian Leadership Awards at the Ritz. This annual event is all about honoring Caymanians that have made a difference in the community, and it was really an honor to hear their stories and applaud their efforts.

The ballroom at the Ritz was fully decked out and almost unrecognizable. Will I ever go to the Ritz and be disappointed? You can bet your bottom dollar that I won't.

We sat at a table with friendly faces - others from N's firm who had also joined for the formal affair.

KD nearly hides herself behind that skinny centerpiece. #howonearth

But before we could enjoy the culinary delights from the Ritz' kitchen, we heard from past YCLA nominees and winners and watched a video presentation on each 2012 nominee, highlighting their achievements.

The evening's theme was "Lead by Example", and I think the guest keynote speaker was a perfect representation of such. One of my favorites: Leanne Tuohy!!

I fell in love with Sandra Bullock's version of this living hero when I first watched The Blind Side, and reading Michael Lewis' book (upon which the movie was based) only sealed the deal for me.  But seeing Leanne in person? That was the cherry on top.

Amen, sister!
Mrs. Tuohy gave a brief, comedic version of her story of discovering Michael Oher, rescuing him from his desperate situation in high school, inspiring him to succeed in getting his diploma, and opening up her home to a stranger. A stranger who ultimately, per her own admission, became more of a blessing to Leanne and her family than she was to him.

Leanne spoke with such a passion about our responsibility to help those in need around us. She certainly was aware of the people surrounding her that night; with a room full of people who live in a country with one of the highest per capita income levels worldwide, she encouraged us to get out of our boats, get off the golf course, look around, and go help somebody. She was absolutely right.

When Tuohy had finished, the 2012 YCLA award was given to Garth Arch, who then addressed the crowd. A huge congrats to Garth, who's made it possible for young Caymanians to study abroad in Spain - what an opportunity!

And finally: The Ritz served dinner. I won't make you hungry with all the pictures. But you'll have to endure a shot of their tiny little dessert offerings. It doesn't get any better than cute and delicious.

Another congratulations to all the 2012 nominees, whose stories should inspire us daily to make a difference in our world.

Also, here's a little bit of Cayman local news for you, including a photo of us with others from N's firm in the June 2012 edition of The Cayman Islands Journal.

Thank you to KK for helping to produce this image from the online edition!

The Ritz + a full length dress + inspiring Caymanians + Leanne Tuohy + the hottest date in town. What a great evening! 


  1. I can't believe you got to see Mrs. Tuohy in person! How cool is that?!

  2. Ahhh!! I wish I had asked for an in-person recap!! What an amazing night! Love the theme of that awards show, something that bears being recognized rather than just our artistic awards?

    1. She really was the best. I felt like she was preaching. :)