Last week at this time the chimpanzees were partied out, Katelyn was watching over the sanctuary, and the rest of the staff and a ton of volunteers and supporters were having the annual fundraising party in Seattle. HOOT! 2018 brought in more funds than any previous event. The night-of fundraising was over-the-top and many people who were unable to attend sent in donations from across the country. It was the eighth such event that we’ve had, starting in 2009 and skipping 2012. Each year the love seems to grow stronger!
Andy of Inland Networks TV created the highlights video below. One of the biggest moments was during the Give a HOOT! part of the evening where supporters raise their paddles to make donations. Overall, the event raised over $200,000, and a full half of that was just from Give a HOOT! It was nothing short of amazing! Big thanks to EVERYONE who donated with a special nod to Karen Emmerman Mazner, James & Jennifer Douglas and Ross & Karen Barde. Also thanks to challenge pledges from Kathy Cochran and Leah Roberts who were not attending but helped inspire others to donate.
Part of my talk at the event was about not knowing how long the Cle Elum Seven chimpanzees would be with us when they arrived a the sanctuary on June 13, 2008. Negra was 35 years old at the time, which is considered elderly. But she’s still going strong and demonstrates the “aging in reverse” phenomenon that seems to have happened for all seven of the chimpanzees.
Here is the photo of Negra that we put on the home page of the website on the first day that the chimpanzees arrived:
Today, Negra climbed to the top of the new (still unnamed!) structure on the hill – the top! I didn’t get a good photo, but I took some others of her exploring.
We celebrate Negra’s birthday on the anniversary of the chimpanzees’ arrival because she is the epitome of what the sanctuary is all about and it was certainly a new beginning for her. Thank you for being a part of it, whether you have been following for ten years or ten minutes.