4th Annual Wildlife Charity Party

It's that time again! My annual nightclub fundraising event to raise money for a charity of my choice. This year, like last year, the money will go to the Southwest Wildlife Foundation. Susan and Martin Tyner are trying to raise enough money to build an animal rescue facility that will serve as a Nature Park and Educational Center. It will also house the rescued wildlife that trickles in throughout the year. I would like to see this park finished, as it will be the first of its kind here in Utah. I also hope to work there.

This year's party, like last year's, took place at the W Lounge in downtown Salt Lake City. My goal was to raise double the money I raised last year. In order to do that, I employed more volunteers and different entertainment aspects. I brought in Aspen Moon, a local artist who excels at live painting. I had him paint something with a wildlife theme, and he decided to paint a desert tortoise carrying the world on its back.

I brought in a body/face painter, hula hoopers (who specialize in LED hooping), a photographer, and the usual go-go dancers to spruce up the night.

I added another new element this year - VIP tickets. With the purchase (donation) of a VIP ticket, partygoers receiver free sushi and champagne. The most difficult aspect of this year's party was nailing down a sushi donor. I propositioned a few downtown sushi restaurants and was quickly denied by most. The other ones never called me back. I thought I may have to switch gears or refund VIP ticket donations when, 5 days before the party, Simply Sushi called me. They were willing to not only donate sushi to the cause, but to send in a sushi chef for the party! This was great news. It's amazing what some are willing to give if simply asked.

Suffice it to say I reached my goal of double the amount of donations as last year. I made $1200, much of that via VIP ticket sales, the rest via door charge and optional donations. And this was with an almost non-existent budget (any money I put into the party is my own donation). The party went off without a hitch. I had many supporters and friends show up, and am grateful to be surrounded by such generous people. Thank you to W Lounge, Simply Sushi, my DJs and volunteer artists, and my lovely friends and supporters. I find that oftentimes the world does a great job of humbling me.

Photos...(photographers: myself, Brett Colvin, Rudy van Bree, Alexey Krapivin, and Kristian Christiansen)

 Body painting by Jonathon Mario

 Aspen Moon live painting

 Costumed friends (I'm the raven)

 Hoop antics

 Go DJ!

The yellow and white cockatoo won best costume
Teddy!
Larisa the rabbit
Raven and Crow
The Gunslinger hooping up a lightstorm
Panda and cockatoo. Pandatoo?
Good friends

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