Read about the different DIY fundraising campaigns that Panthera’s fans have organized on behalf of the world’s wild cats.
- Parties & Special Occasions
- Sporting Events
In the Donor Spotlight: Saying “I Do” to Saving Big Cats
After dating for eight years, Panthera fans Gabriela Sanchez and Rod Teasley tied the knot in Austin, Texas in October of 2010…but unlike most weddings, Gabriela and Rod used their big day to help Panthera save big cats. Rather than accepting conventional gifts, Gabriela and Rod encouraged their guests to make a donation to Panthera.
Gabriela and Rod also included a big cat theme at their wedding, using images of wild cats as escort cards at each table and providing interesting information about the conservation status, geographical location and other facts about big cats.
The couple offered cake jars as an exit gift which included labels displaying Panthera’s logo and creative big cat cake names such as ‘Lion Pride Lemon,’ ‘Salty Snow Leopard,’ ‘Velvet Jaguar,’ and ‘Roaring Tiger Carrot.’ All we can say to that is “yum!”
Panthera is very grateful to Gabriela and Rod for their generosity and are honored and thrilled to have been recognized on their big day. We would like to extend a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to the newlyweds and their guests for supporting Panthera’s mission to conserve and protect the world’s wild cats. Congratulations, Gabriela and Rod!
View photos from the wedding and get ideas for how you can help support big cats on your big day.
Running for Lions: The 56 Mile South African Comrades Marathon
Some of us run for the elevator, and some of us… run. Panthera donors Ona Alpert-Josselyn and her husband Todd Josselyn are of the second variety. Recently, they logged an incredible 56 mile journey in the South African Comrades Marathon, and they did it all in the name of lions.
The idea was launched in the fall of 2009, when Ona and Todd were on safari in the Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania. After several awe-inspiring lion sightings, the couple was profoundly saddened to learn of the precarious position of these animals. “We had to do something, and nothing ordinary would do,” says Ona.
Ona and Todd settled on the Comrades Marathon as an extraordinary test of endurance, and Panthera’s lion programs as the lucky beneficiaries of their fundraising efforts. With months of training and an ambitious fundraising goal of $5,000 ahead of them, the first half of 2011 was intense. Reaching out to their extended network via heartfelt letters, emails and postcards, Ona and Todd shared the news of their challenge, and asked for support while they slowly built up their physical strength…
Hiking the Himalayas to Help Panthera Save Big Cats
Our community of supporters continues to surprise us by crafting innovative and adventurous ways to represent Panthera and fundraise to support our global conservation work, including running marathons, recycling cans through the Cans 4 Cats program, and through many other ways. Late last year, one of our devoted supporters, Jonathan Stevens, set out in Nepal’s snow leopard country to hike the Himalayan mountain Pike Peak, which reaches nearly 13,000 feet, with the goal of raising £2,000 to donate to Panthera.
After two and a half days of travelling, Jonathan and a team of other hikers began their trek in Jiri, Nepal, from which they made their way up through the jungle, avoiding ticks, leaches and other critters, across foothills and finally up into the rocky Himalayan mountains. He then spent the next several days hiking uphill eight hours per day, battling altitude sickness in freezing temperatures, and sleeping in a damp sleeping bag due to camp sites that were up in the clouds. On the final day of the hike, Jonathan and the team spent four hours climbing in the dark by flashlight to reach the summit of Pike Peak, just in time to see the sun rise from behind the mountains and catch a glimpse of Mount Everest in the distance.
After a few days hiking down the mountain, Jonathan completed his two week adventure and returned home to the UK a little haggard, but mostly proud. Amazingly, in the process, Jonathan was able to raise £1000 from friends and family to donate to Panthera!
Help Jonathan reach his £2,000 fundraising goal by visiting his JustGiving page.
Panthera Web Coordinator Runs in Stripes to Earn Her Own
In February of 2011, Panthera's Web and Communications Coordinator, Susie Weller, earned her Panthera stripes by running the New Orleans Rock 'n' Roll half marathon. Adorned in tiger stripes, Susie ran the race with four tiger-striped friends to help raise awareness of the plight of tigers, and Panthera’s efforts to save them. The 'running tigresses' were helped through the 13+ mile race with encouragement and “Grrrrr’s” from fellow runners and onlookers.
Cans4Cats is an organization that was created by two youngsters – Justin and Kate Kopp – to raise funds to support Panthera’s wild cat conservation programs around the world. Here is a description of the founding of Cans4Cats, taken from the Cans4Cats website:
We started Cans4Cats in order to raise money to support Big Cat conservation. We began by collecting aluminum cans from our neighbors, crushing them and then turning them into a recycling center. We took the money raised and donated it to Panthera, an organization dedicated to preserving the world's 36 species of wild cats.
After raising over $100 through recycling cans, we decided to sell some of our toys to raise additional money. We sold our toys and sent Panthera an additional $250. To date, we have raised over $2,500 for Panthera.
In order to raise more money, we designed t-shirts. We have sold $650 worth of shirts. This year, we are focusing on Saving the Tigers. We have designed a new shirt to help us in this cause. That is the front of the shirt to the left.
Click here to order yours today.
Visit the Cans4Cats website at http://www.cans4cats.com/
Traveling to Tajikistan in a TEAmbulance to Support Panthera
In the summer of 2011, one of Panthera’s ultimate fans, Jeremy Aylmer, embarked on an ambulance & tea odyssey from London to the Pamir Mountains in Tajikistan in a TEAmbulance in order to raise £2,000 to support Panthera’s wild cat conservation programs. Jeremy and the TEAmbulance team drove across Europe and along the ancient Silk Road, crossing multiple borders, scorching deserts and majestic mountains, all the while making friends and sharing cups of tea in typical English fashion, with those they met on the journey. After reaching their destination, the TEAmbulance team donated their much-needed ambulance to a local hospital in Tajikistan.
See photos from the trip and learn more about Jeremy’s fundraising campaign and expedition at http://bit.ly/nsb2SG.
Make a contribution to the TEAmbulance fund through JustGiving @ http://bit.ly/qNoCsM.
Fundraising for Big Cats in New Ways: Parties, Yard Sales & Magic Shows
Panthera first heard about Teaghan, a seven-year-old girl from Alexandria, Virginia who loves big cats, when her mother, Kyle, contacted Panthera to find out what, if anything, a girl of her age could do to contribute to the conservation of big cats. Kyle was impressed with her daughter’s dedication and wanted to help her find a way to make an impact.
Panthera was happy to share the Cans4Cats model with Teaghan and her mother, who quickly planned a big cat party and yard sale to educate Teaghan’s friends about wild cats and fundraise for Panthera. This two-day event raised more than $200, and allowed Teaghan to share her knowledge and enthusiasm about big cats with her friends and neighbors!
Since then, Teaghan and her family organized a magic show, after which Teaghan held a Question and Answer session with her friends about big cats. Over 50 kids attended this big-time big cat fundraiser and had a fantastic afternoon, while raising more than $300 for our conservation programs!
A Junior Ambassador for Panthera
Panthera has recently named our newest Junior Ambassador – a seven year old from White Plains, New York named Grace, who is dedicating her creative talents to wild cat conservation. According to her mom, Grace’s fascination with the natural world started when she was just 3 or 4 years old when she insisted on saving every bug that fell into their pool. An afternoon of splashing around with her twin brother quickly turned into a massive rescue mission, with Grace trying to airlift every six-legged victim to safety.
About a year ago, Grace turned her attention to larger species when she was awestruck by a nature special on TV about tigers. After the narrator stated that three subspecies of tiger have gone extinct in the last 80 years, Grace’s eyes welled with tears as she turned to her mother and asked, “like the dinosaurs?” Incredulous at the thought of losing more tigers, Grace decided to act. A combination of advocacy and bake sales quickly followed, and at a special fundraising party organized by Grace’s mom, Animal Embassy’s Chris Evers introduced Grace and her classmates to Panthera and our work to save tigers.
Grace’s collected contributions are enough to place 5 camera traps in one of the landscapes in which Panthera is working to protect and monitor tigers. Camera trapping helps us survey tiger populations so that we can ensure that our efforts on the ground are increasing tiger numbers, and truly making an impact.
In addition, Grace wrote the following lovely poem, titled ‘Tigers Forever and Ever,’ to express her love of nature and concern for the state of the world’s wild tigers –
Tigers Forever and Ever
Why are we treating tigers this way?
So that there are fewer than from other days
We are stuck in a nature and technology maze
Follow nature it knows better ways
So keep nature alive for all of your days
Learn more about Panthera's Tigers Forever program
Learn more about Panthera's Tiger Corridor Initiative
Educating and Fundraising on Behalf of Panthera
Based in Metuchen, New Jersey, Integrated Educational Services (IES) is an elite SAT preparatory center for children and young adults that also happens to be an important ambassador for Panthera. Along with their SAT studies, students who attend IES are educated on the state of the world’s wild cats and what Panthera is doing to save them. This poster, for example, is just one of many posters that were created by IES students who have learned about Panthera’s conservation initiatives, and which now hangs in the IES office.
In the Summer of 2011, Panthera Vice President Andrea Heydlauff was invited to give a presentation at IES on Panthera’s wild cat conservation work.
After a lengthy and in-depth Q&A session, the IES students presented a generous donation gathered through their Panthera fundraiser! The students also shared an interesting video they had created on why big cats and Panthera’s work are so important.
Several groups of high school students who attend IES also expressed interest in forming their own Panthera school clubs! We’ll be sure to share updates on the development of these clubs and any other DIY fundraising efforts by IES.
Wild Cat Charity Checks
Charity Checks is an organization that operates a Charitable Literacy Program, which uses gift certificates to inspire the next generation of philanthropists. Through this program, students in ‘giving classrooms’ are asked to research charities, talk with their classmates and families about their values, choose a cause, and donate their charity checks giving certificates to the cause they most care about.
Panthera is lucky to have been chosen as the recipient of 5 charity checks from a classroom at Chester Park Elementary School in Richmond Hill, Queens in June of 2011.
See a letter from one of the Chester Park Elementary School students.