Hollywood Gala Big Success
Thousands of dollars were raised at the Gala sponsored in large measure by New Chapter and Whole Foods Markets and Creative Artists Agency. To set the stage, images of wildlife from the Children’s Eternal Rainforest were projected on the huge wall above the dinning tables. Orchids graced each table. Violin music wafted through dinner conversation. The inspirational beginnings of the BEN by the Swedish kids were provided by Rachel Crandell. Stirring appeals were delivered by Tom Newmark, Michael Besancon, Anthony Zolezzi and TV celebrity, Suzanne Somers. These remarks and the premiere of Mark Wainwright and Alex Villegas’ video “Stranded” brought the realities of the plight of migratory species in the BEN to the hushed audience who now understands better why tropical rainforests are critical to the health of the planet. The BEN made many new friends on May 8 and a big stride toward funding land purchase on the Pacific slope. Thanks to the many generous donors, we raised over $40,000. This will enable us to take a big step forward with negotiations for land purchase that will reforest wildlife corridors and suck up carbon.
Quilt Project to Help Send Teacher to the Rainforest
A quilt-making project launched on Earth Day in Macomb, Illinois invites children and adults to participate by painting fabric squares with animals and plants from the Children’s Eternal Rainforest. Over 100 of these squares will surround a central painting on fabric brimming with wildlife. Sponsorships for the quilt and donations are raising the money that will be shared between a scholarship for a Macomb teacher to go on the MCLUS conservation/adventure trip July 14-27 and funds for environmental education programs in Monteverde, Costa Rica. When the quilt is completed, it will be displayed in the Macomb Public Library and borrowed by classrooms when they are studying about the tropical rainforest. Mary McMahon has been selected as the winning teacher this year. She has started to pack her backpack!