Here we are, skipping another in-person event due to the pandemic. In-person events are a lot of work, but there’s an unmistakable energy that happens when you get a group of people together in one space with a common mission and a drive to give.
The crucial funds raised are of course the main focus, but that sense of a shared purpose–the hope and the love–is what is the most encouraging aspect of an event.
The sanctuary is incredibly fortunate to have you, supporters and champions of the chimpanzees. With this blog, we are exposed to that energy, albeit in an online context, every day.
Preparing for tonight’s second virtual HOOT! gala has been filled with moments of nostalgia. Some of the people who you will see and hear from tonight during the event are from the early days of the sanctuary. Even some of the auction items have been unearthed from years ago (like the Troll Mania book created for our 2011 event).
The staff went way back to our childhoods for some of the auction items, with each of us choosing a favorite children’s book (see auction items #10-20).
The pandemic has often been described as a collective pause. Of course the sanctuary doesn’t have the option to pause, and the last year has been one of the busiest times in our history. There hasn’t been a lot of time to reflect.
Tonight, though, as we watch the virtual event in our respective homes, together in spirit, we have the chance to reflect on what we have accomplished as a group, each with our individualized efforts, to provide a home for chimpanzees who had no where else to go.
Humans failed these chimpanzees, but now our collective humanity has saved them. It’s a giving back that will always be incomplete, but that doesn’t make it any less worth the effort.
To all of the staff, board members, volunteers, donors, followers, and supporters, thank you for being here for them. Let’s celebrate together all that we’ve accomplished and the continued hope for the future.