My CCF North American Fall Tour 2014 was most exciting with the continuation of presenting my book, A Future for Cheetahs, featuring photos by Suzi Eszterhas.
This fall, I gave lectures, signed books and appeared at events in 23 cities and seven states including Vancouver, Canada.
My tour lasted six weeks, starting in Orlando, FL at the Association of Zoos & Aquarium (AZA) annual conference meeting many friends and colleagues from around the country. The Dallas Zoo and CLRDesign hosted a cheetah gathering for CCF. I then met up with Namibia’s Honorary Consul, Stephen Snively, a Florida lawyer at the law offices of Holland & Knight who hosted a cocktail party introducing the mission of CCF to their associates and friends.
This fall CCF had cheetah ambassador events in San Diego, Los Angeles, Santa Rosa, and Saratoga, California as well as at our Galas in Portland, Oregon and Washington, DC. All of these incredible events were made possible through the dedication and support of our CCF Trustees, local CCF Chapters and volunteers, and our partner organizations who share their cheetah ambassadors here in the U.S.
In Northern California, I gave numerous lectures at various zoos starting off at the Oakland Zoo, San Francisco Zoo and then the Sacramento Zoo with book signings in Corde Madera at Book Passage and at the Pegasus Bookstore in Berkeley. I also gave a lecture at Stanford University with Catie Mong, a former CCF Namibian summer intern and Stanford student, as well as at Pacific Grove Museum. The Mountain Winery was a unique location and fundraising event with ambassador cheetah Themba (from the Wild Cat Conservation and Education Fund) and again, Safari West in Santa Rosa hosted our annual dinner event – Speed & Elegance, Saving the Wild Cheetah, with CCF Trustees and hosts Nancy & Peter Lang.
San Diego Zoo’s ambassador cheetah wowed everyone at a lovely event at the home of Roy & Robin Toft in Ramona with many new and old cheetah friends before giving a book signing in La Jolla at Africa & Beyond bookstore, as well as a conservation talk with Julie Scardina at the Hubbs- SeaWorld Research Institute.
It was a pleasure traveling to the Los Angeles area to give a lecture to a standing room only crowd at the G2 Gallery in Venice as well as meeting up with CCF Board members Sara Nichols and Margery Nicolson at a cheetah ambassador luncheon in Pacific Palisades at the private home of Barbara Bosson.
From California, I made a very quick stopover in Tucson, Arizona to meet up with CCF Trustee John Carver of CheetahKids and his family who kindly hosted me at a lecture fundraiser at the Reid Park Zoo. It had been a couple years since I had visited my cheetah friends at the Reid Park Zoo so it was definitely a great evening and reunion with everyone again.
From Arizona, I flew straight to Vancouver, British Columbia with CCF trustee Carolyn Farquhar and Evyln Anferson and the CCF Canadian Board members who hosted my travels and events this fall, which included special biomass business meetings and a fundraiser organized by CCF stakeholder Jo-Anne Reynolds at the lovely Shaughnessy Golf Club. It was great to be back in Canada again.
My Portland visit was eventful with the support of CCF Trustee Janet Waggoner and the Oregon Chapter hosting the 14th annual Big Cat. Big Party. which again was a great success this year at the Oregon Zoo! I want to thank everyone who helped to fund this exciting benefit from the live auction donations to our special dinner committee hosts as well as the ambassador cheetahs from Wildlife Safari.
In the Washington, D.C. area we hosted CCF’s Annual Board Meeting at the Cosmos Club with many board members attending from around the USA, Canada and the UK. A CCF board welcoming party was held at the lovely home of CCF Trustee Gary & Judy Kopff. CCF Trustee Suzi Rapp from the Columbus Zoo had cheetah ambassador BiBi and her canine companion Coby at the DC Gala. It was a distinct pleasure to see everyone supporting CCF’s DC Gala held at the beautiful offices of Foley & Lardner in historic Georgetown. I would also like to thank CCF Ambassador Sally Davidson of Clyde’s Restaurants for hosting the CCF Board members and staff at her fantastic new restaurant, The Hamilton. I am pleased to say it was a very successful board meeting and DC Gala with everyone’s focus and efforts on saving the cheetah in the wild.
My last CCF event was held in New York State at the Millbrook School and Trevor Zoo for the KeepSafe Project. This was my second fundraising event and lecture for the KeepSafe project hosted by artist and CCF Trustee Paola Bari. My last week was spent lecturing in Ithaca, New York at Cornell University for the A.D. White Professorship.