My CCF Fall Tour 2017 was very exciting this year beginning with a keynote lecture in Estes Park, CO for the Pathways conference on September 18 hosted by Colorado State University. The conference was a great success with my talk titled, “Cheetahs and Humans Sharing a Landscape”. CCF looks forward to co-hosting the Pathways African Conference in Windhoek, Namibia this coming January 2018.
My tour lasted six weeks traveling to 21 cities and 12 states as well as having a brief stopover in the United Kingdom for a cheetah book launch, A Cheetah’s Tale, with CCF’s International Patron HRH Princess Michael of Kent, as well as events in Ottawa and Toronto, Canada. Altogether, I had eight zoo and university lectures, 10 fundraising events throughout the US and Canada and over 12 private lunch and dinner events to support the endangered cheetah.
The CCF Annual Board Meeting was held early in the tour on September 22-24 in Washington, DC at the Hilton Garden Inn. Dr. Bruce Brewer, CCF General Manager in Namibia, and many of our CCF Directors and Trustees flew in for the meetings and stayed for our major DC Gala fundraising event hosted this year at the Hamilton Restaurant. CCF sends an abundant thank you to our new CCF Director Sally Davidson for hosting and catering the Meetah Cheetah Brunch. The new Hamilton venue with our avid supporters for the cheetah was one of the highlights of my 2017 fall tour!
My travels to California consisted primarily of the cities of San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego. In Northern California this year, I lectured at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS) in Monterey, the Oakland Zoo, and attended the WCN Expo with my fellow conservationist and cheetah friends. In Los Angeles, CCF Director Sara Nichols hosted a lovely dinner party at her home in Brentwood and I attended a private gathering with CCF cheetah friend and Challenger, Adina Savin.
In San Diego, CCF was the beneficiary of the Mission Wildlife- 4th Annual Fundraiser – Cheetah & Giraffe this spring hosted by Piper & Heath Travel – Chris & Emily Liebenberg. It was wonderful to raise funds for both the Cheetah and the Giraffe with the help of Julian Fennessy.
I also had the opportunity to travel and lecture in New Mexico and Nebraska at the Albuquerque Zoo for the first time as well as the Omaha Zoo. It was a wonderful time to meet cheetah friends and new supporters in these areas. My visit at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln with Larkin Powell was valuable as I spoke on conflict resolution to wildlife management students and faculty. It was a pleasure to share with them insights into CCF’s programs for the past 27 years.
This fall CCF participated and hosted major fundraisers supported by our CCF Trustees, volunteers and CCF Chapters in Denver, New York, Portland, Columbus and Oklahoma City. In Denver, All Things Dog and Cheetah event was hosted by Carol and Bryce McTavish as their lovely home with over 70 guests participating and raising funds for the cheetah. In Staten Island, NY, CCF Chapter hosted a Cocktails for Cheetahs Garden Party at the home of Ron Pagano with cheetah friends from all over the New York area.
The Big Cat. Big Party 2017 in Portland was held for the first time at the World Forestry Center to a crowd of 125 guests with Wildlife Safari sharing their guest star – cheetah Mchumba. It was a great fundraiser supported by the Oregon Chapter volunteers, an Emcee, past CCF long-time volunteer David Bell, an auctioneer with CCF Trustee Janet Waggoner and CCF’s event coordinator, Dionne Stein.
CCF Trustee Suzi Rapp from the Promotions Department at the Columbus Zoo hosted the 2nd annual Meetah Cheetah event in Columbus, OH to a sold out crowd of over 225 guests. The zoo doubled their fundraising efforts from last year through ticket sales, and silent auction items and Namibian craft sales.
I again visited with friends in Oklahoma City for our annual Wine & Wildlife Meetah Cheetah event at the OKC Cheetah Penthouse on Second St. hosted by my cheetah friend Bob Meinders and CCF Trustee Vicki Gourley and the CCF volunteers. The event included a VIP with cocktails, buffet dinner, auctions, and a raffle wine pull for two cases for 1970s rare Burgundies and Bordeaux donated by Dick Sias. It was a great success with wonderful auction items supporting the endangered cheetah.
I also had the pleasure of attending many smaller fundraising events around the country to support the cheetah in the cities of San Francisco, Los Angeles, Tampa, Columbus, Washington, D.C. and Ottawa, Canada. In Tierra Verde, FL, CCF cheetah supporter Cynthia Smooth with her husband Bill Weller and friends Tom and Tracy Hayes, who recently visited CCF Namibia last summer, gave a wonderful travel and donor cultivation party with the support of Marcia Gordon of Extraordinary Journeys.
In Ottawa, the CCF Canadian Board with Chair Carolyn Farquhar and Marie-Claude Erin, hosted a fundraiser on October 26 at The Great Hall at Gibson’s on Queen. It was a great evening with a lecture, book signing, a silent auction, and Atlas, an Anatolian shepherd dog representing CCF’s Livestock Guarding Dog program. It was wonderful to visit with everyone and to give my highlights on what CCF is doing this year in Namibia and to give them greater understanding of the plight of the cheetah and how they can contribute to our mission
My tour also encounter many small luncheons and private dinner parties with close cheetah friends and CCF Board members. Entertaining on a smaller scale with intimate parties is a wonderful way for me to personally thank our special donors and cheetah friends while traveling the USA. If you are interested in hosting and supporting me during my fundraising tours, please contact, Paula Martin at email@example.com.
All of these supportive events this fall both great and small were made possible through the dedication of our CCF Board, Trustees and Staff as well as the local CCF Chapters and volunteers at the various zoo facilities who support CCF through their ambassador cheetah programs. On behalf of everyone at CCF, thank you for supporting our mission this year!