Curtain Bluff is more than just an extraordinary resort. We strive to ensure that it reflects our deep love and respect for the local community and the island home that have brought us so much joy through the years. One way we do this is through the Old Road Fund.
Started in 1974, the Old Road Fund (ORF) is a 501c-3 non-profit foundation supported by Curtain Bluff and its generous guests.
One of the most successful private foundations in the Caribbean, ORF has invested more than $3 million toward improving the lives of thousands of Antiguan and Barbudan people through education, healthcare, and community projects. As its name suggests, ORF’s main focus is the town of Old Road, which is home to more than 80% of the resort’s staff.
How ORF Began
It all started with a few old tennis balls.
On a spring day in 1974, the resort’s tennis pro, Bob Raedisch, noticed some boys from the village hanging around the court looking for forgotten tennis balls for their game of cricket. When they came back the next day, Bob offered to teach them how to play tennis, and soon he had a core group of a dozen boys turning up regularly for practice.
Curtain Bluff owners Howard and Chelle Hulford quickly got involved, equipping the players with gear and driving the teams to tournaments around the island. Chelle, a former teacher, started giving impromptu afternoon lessons in the shade of Curtain Bluff’s giant tamarind tree. Within a few short months, the program’s benefits had expanded to include job offers, training and continuing education.
“From the beginning, the Old Road Fund was about more than tennis,” Bob recalls. “Those kids that showed a good work ethic, discipline and high grades were given every opportunity.”
It worked. Encouraged, nurtured and financially supported, those original 12 boys thrived. Two became USTA-accredited tennis pros at Curtain Bluff (Rennie George recently retired after 40 years and Nigel Anthony is still coaching). One went on to become a senator in the Antiguan parliament. Another became Antigua’s Minister of Tourism. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Since those early days, ORF has helped thousands of Antiguans and Barbudans obtain medical care, improve their communities and realize their potential through further education and opportunities at home and abroad.
ORF’s annual contributions are divided among three core service areas. 70% supports further education, 20% goes to healthcare and 10% is used to fund community projects.
ORF recognizes that education is the key to helping young people fulfill their potential. Our resident tennis pros, Nigel, Dillo, and Renee (recently retired), are just a few of the dozens of USTA-accredited professionals who have graduated from our tennis program. Here at Curtain Bluff, other ORF alum have gone on to hold positions as our IT manager, financial comptroller, and head sommelier. Beyond our grounds, ORF graduates include a senator in the Antiguan parliament, the island’s minister of tourism, the CEO of one of Antigua’s largest importing companies, and a professional soccer player. At least 200 others have attended colleges and universities in the Caribbean and U.S.
When emergency strikes, it often places an immense financial burden on local families. ORF helps fund emergency medical care, like skin grafts for a kitchen worker who was severely disfigured in a stove explosion. We’ve helped cancer patients receive treatment at the Mayo Clinic in Florida, facilitated an infant’s life-saving heart procedure in a hospital in the islands, and financed an emergency operation in Trinidad for a local teenager suffering from a brain tumor. We also regularly support Antigua’s autism and drug and alcohol rehabilitation initiatives.
Community initiatives keep young people engaged and improve the quality of life for all Antigua residents. ORF’s current and past community initiatives include sponsoring Old Road’s soccer, basketball and cricket teams; providing new laptop computers and a new fully equipped library for the local elementary school; building a playground for Old Road Kindergarten; and funding a new tennis, basketball and netball court at the primary school. Every Christmas, we supply more than 40 seniors with food hampers and contribute more than 100 toys to the toy drive. In 2017, when Hurricane Irma decimated the island of Barbuda, the fund and generous guests of the resort donated over $100,000 to the National Disaster Committee.
The Old Road Fund is supported by the resort and by generous guests who have made a personal connection with the wonderful people of Antigua. 100% of all donations go to the beneficiaries, and all donations are tax-deductible in the U.S. and Canada. If you would like to support our foundation, you may do so via one of the methods below.
Make it out to the Old Road Fund and mail it directly to Rob Sherman, General Manager, Curtain Bluff, P.O. Box 288, St. Johns, Antigua, West Indies
For credit: First Caribbean International Bank (Barbados) Limited, Antigua
SWIFT Code: FCIBAGAG
Beneficiary Name: CURTAIN BLUFF HOTEL
Beneficiary Address: Old Road, St. Mary’s, Antigua
Beneficiary Account Number: 49904115
Intermediary Bank Info: USD – United States Dollars
Wells Fargo, New York
SWIFT Code: PNBPUS3NNYC
ABA Code: 026005092
PLEASE NOTE: Under the terms of ORF’s 501c3 status, all donations are tax-deductible in the U.S. and Canada.