Tag Archives: contributions

Thank You Friends! What Would We Do Without You? NYC Part 1

Thank you for making our Exhibition & Fundraiser at Pratt Institute Manhattan a very special event.

Sponsors, volunteers, board members, musicians, Pratt faculty, friends and family generated the most positive energy for a common goal to make Earth a more healthy place for all.

Please enjoy the photos below courtesy of Jason Rearick and Marcus Alexander of Epoch Times. Click here for more coverage of the evening at Epoch Times. I wish I had had my camera too but it was so nice to have time with guests. Dr. Lucy Spelman’s keynote was well received with everyone commenting afterward that the one-health concept becomes clearer and clearer all the time and the need for a multidisciplinary approach to conservation is essential. More photos are surfacing, but for now here you go. Be sure not to miss our famous photographer Andrew Walmsley dressed up in his magnificent kilt straight off the plane from Scotland! Thank you again and again from the Art of Conservation team.

AoC's Pratt Exhibition & Fundraiser, NYC 2013Allison with Philip Choi and Joseph Canciglia of the Norman and Bettina Roberts Foundation.

Jackie & Julia at AoC's Pratt Exhibition & Fundraiser, NYC 2013Jacky and Julia help with auction items and merchandise.

AoC's Pratt Exhibition & Fundraiser, NYC 2013A roomful of wonderful friends.

Andrew, Julie, Allison, Cheryl. AoC's Pratt Exhibition & Fundraiser, NYC 2013Andrew, Julie, Allison, and Cheryl. Allison and Cheryl did a fabulous job putting together the event!

Musicians Courtney and Benjamin at AoC's Pratt Exhibition & Fundraiser, NYC 2013Courtney and Benjamin of Kaiser Kartel play a sampling of music written for AoC.

Musician Rubin Kodheli at AoC's Pratt Exhibition & Fundraiser, NYC 2013At the close of the evening we listened to beautiful cello music composed and played by Rubin Kodheli.

Lori Howe at AoC's Pratt Exhibition & Fundraiser, NYC 2013Board member Lori Howe viewing and purchasing photos on display.

AoC's Pratt Exhibition & Fundraiser in New York City November 2013Allison with Daniel Azarian and Wendy Kaplan.

AoC's Pratt Exhibition & Fundraiser in New York City November 2013Exciting auction items!

AoC's Pratt Exhibition & Fundraiser in New York City November 2013Paintings and gift bags!

A successful evening thanks to all.

Sports for Gorillas In Rwanda Is Great Thanks To John Terpkosh/NJTL

From Julie Ghrist

Art of Conservation recently received a remarkable gift of $1000 from National Junior Tennis & Learning (NJTL) of Des Moines thanks to our supporter John Terpkosh.

Thank you John Terpkosh! Art of Conservation 2013Ibirunga Tennis & Running Club’s Coach Rachid installs a new tennis net thanks to NJTL.

Olivier Habimana, the president of Musanze District’s Ibirunga Tennis & Running Club, immediately put the generous grant money to the purchase and installation of a much needed new net. Funds left over has been allocated to the clubs monthly maintenance of water and electricity fees.

Thank you John for your continued support. I know first-hand how your goodness has benefited many individuals and communities.

Take Me To The Zoo

From Julie Ghrist

When I was child my mom and dad took my brother, sisters, and I to the Blank Park Zoo. We loved learning about the animals, meeting the zoo keepers, and taking rides on the childrens train. While growing up, I witnessed this small zoo in Des Moines, Iowa growing up too. I observed the generosity of civic leaders dedicated to developing it into a city landmark attracting both its residents as well as visitors. The zoo has always had an unusually strong base of volunteers too. Through my parents, I had my first look at the process of raising money for causes one feels strongly about. They got me involved in a capital campaign years ago. I painted zoo animals on the top rung of a picnic bench. Donors who pledged a certain amount received a bench.

As our world gets smaller and people infiltrate nearly every corner of the globe habitat lose for wild animals is shrinking. Blank Park Zoo remains vigilant and active in conservation. Art of Conservation recently received bags and bags of donated items from the zoo’s organized donation drive. Caring people donated all kinds of things that AoC is so thankful to be able to use in our classrooms.

Donations from Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines, IowaAoC uses donated items received from Blank Park Zoo in our Rwandan classrooms.

Experimenting with color, we use the variety of craft materials donated from the zoo.

Donations from Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines, IAExploring how color makes us feel, this young boy has fun with green felt.

It’s going to take more time for my team and I to thoughtfully give out all of the wonderful gifts from BPZ – shirts, paper, yarn – but each and every thing is greatly appreciated.

Volunteering at Blank Park ZooHere I am years ago at Blank Park Zoo after painting animals on the top rung of picinic benches for one of their fundraising events.

So as you can see, Blank Park Zoo not only nurtures the love of animals it is also an establishment that time and time again has proven to bring out the best in the human spirit – a place where people work together in making the world a healthier place for people and animals.

Thank you again Blank Park Zoo!

Great BIG Gorilla THANKS!

Thank you Tash, Kevin & Mollie, Mary, Anne, Kay.  AoC 2011
Thank you Tash, Mary, Kevin & Mollie, Anne, and Kay for your generous support. All of us at AoC send our gratitude and love.

Thanks John Terpkosh!

Hi John. A quick thanks for the fabulous donations you recently sent to us in Rwanda. I hope the photos below show the happiness you bring to children. I look forward to joining you at Davis Park in July for the community service project. See you then!

Shirts donated by John. AoC 2011.Neighborhood children who run with me every Saturday and Sunday morning put on soccer jerseys donated by John Terpkosh to Art of Conservation.

Shirts donated by John. AoC 2011.Looking smart with new jerseys!

Rwanda. AoC 2011East Des Moines jerseys are all the rage in Muhoza, Musanze Town!

JAF's Anaclet and tennis player Evariste at Children's tennis Tournament. AoC 2011Evariste receives his prizes – including t-shirts donated by John Terpkosh – from district leader Anaclet during the Children’s Tennis Tournament.

Thanks again, John. Julie

Rushubi Kids Receive Help From Simpson Volunteers

Virginia Croskery, a professor of music at Simpson College in Iowa, began planning a service learning trip to Rwanda last year. After 10 interested students signed up, Virginia encouraged them to reach out to their community to raise money and gather donated supplies. The group of participants fulfilled Virginia’s request by receiving a check for $1500 plus transporting bags full of supplies to AoC Office in Musanze Town, Rwanda. Truly, I can hardly express how happy my team and I are by their efforts.

I was told the volunteers would not hesitate to get busy where ever they were needed, so our first day was to our regularly scheduled class at Rushubi School. We are quickly approaching Rwanda’s Annual Gorilla Naming ceremony, Kwita Izina, in which our students will perform in the community party called Igitaramo. Well, we haven’t really started to prepare for this important event and capitalizing on Virginia’s expertise in world music and diction, our focus nows turns toward the songs that they will sing and perform and which are full of conservation messages.

Practicing In Virunga with Virginia. AoC 2011.Virginia with Rushubi students.

Our 100 Rushubi students will perform In Virunga / My Birunga – a song composed and recorded by AoC friends Courtney Kaiser and Benjamin Cartel. (Click here for more Kaiser Cartel.) This song has two versions, one in English and one in Kinyarwanda.

Practicing In Virunga.  Rushubi Primary School. AoC 2011.Simpson College volunteers, Arron and Anna, help children discover their voices and encourage them to make new sounds.

For many years now, AoC students have been learning Courtney and Benjamin’s songs and as a result have been teaching them to their brothers and sisters, as well. With this 2011 group of kids, they definitely have the Kinyarwanda version down fine…. it’s the English version we are working on today.

Pronunciation lessons. AoC 2011.Children feel the air after Virginia asks them to strongly accentuate and exaggerate their t’s and b’s and p’s and so on.

In spoken Rwandan language, Kinyarwanda, the l’s and r’s are often difficult to transfer to English speaking. We practice a lot on pronouncing words like we’re.

Practicing In Virunga by Kaiser Cartel.  AoC 2011.With In Virunga / Mu Birunga lyrics in their notebooks and lots of encouragement to open their mouths wide, kids are open to experimentation.

We all admitted to feeling wiped out and nearly unable to speak after 3 hours of singing.

Practicing In Virunga.  Valerie and Emily at Rushubi Primary School. AoC 2011.Valerie with Simpson volunteers Emily and Angela at Rushubi Primary School.

I hope you can see that we had a dynamic class and again, thank you very much to Virginia and her amazing group of volunteers. More about their contributions to AoC coming up!

Thank You Simpson College Volunteers!

Thank you Virginia, Anna, Angela, Meagan, Arron, Kayla, Annie, Greg, Tiffany, Emily, and Maggie! I knew you would be a great group to work with, but wow, you were seriously GREAT! My team and I loved having your help in the classrooms, at Cecile’s briquette workshop, at the Ibirunga Tennis court toilet construction, and Friday nights’ AoC event at Hotel Muhabura. I also want to thank you for raising money for AoC and bringing awesome supplies with you in duffle bags to Rwanda. All of your generous support is immensely appreciated.

When are you coming back?

Take care and please stay in touch.

Thank You Ghana Cafe and Supporters

Hello Friends, Supporters, and Ghana Cafe. I hope you can feel our heart-felt thank you’s we are sending to you from Rwanda for making last Friday night a special evening for Art of Conservation. Amy has shared photos with us from the Happy Hour Fundraiser which you’ll find below.

Happy Hour Fundraiser for Art of Conservation at Ghana Cafe - Washington, DC.When Amy returns from Rwanda at the end of the month, she’ll bring a Rwandan franc or two for your wall.

Happy Hour Fundraiser at Ghana Cafe.  Art of Conservation 2011.I hear the food is excellent at Ghana Cafe.

Amy with guests at Ghana Cafe in Washington, DC.  AoC fundraiser. 2011Amy and friends supporting our efforts in Rwanda.

Fundraiser at Ghana Cafe in Washington, DC.  AoC 2011More generous people supporting our conservation and health education programs in Rwanda.

Happy Hour Fundraiser for Art of Conservation. Washington, DC March 2011More kind supporters at Ghana Cafe. Star beer, that must be from Ghana. Looks like fun.

Amy and friends at Ghana Cafe in Washington, DC.  AoC 2011Amy with more wonderful supporters.

Thank you again!

Ghana Cafe
1336 14th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005

Thank You Dr. Joey!

The interest and support from all of you reading our blogs means much to us at AoC. Please continue staying touch.

Thank you Dr. Joey for the dental supplies.  Art of Conservation 2011Thank you very much, Joey!!!

Larry Donates Supplies… Right to AoC’s Door!

We returned from class and were gathered for our weekly staff meeting when we hear HONK, HONK. Phocas gets the gate and soon in comes Larry with a big suitcase rolling behind him.

I met Larry a few years ago when he was in Rwanda with his cousin, Dr. Kim Hammond, a board member of the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project. Larry’s career in medicine revolves around helping children in the US – so when he gave compliments in our approach with children in Rwanda, I took his comment with great appreciation.

Larry delivers donated supplies to Art of Conservation.  Thanks, Larry!Larry pulls loads of things out of his suitcase as the AoC team examines all of the fantastic supplies he is donating. Boone, his friend, is pictured here in the background.

Not many days ago, I received an email from Larry asking me what supplies may be helpful to us. He was just heading out the door for one last shopping trip in snowy Boston before he would begin his journey to Rwanda.

Pastel paper, just what we need!  Thanks Larry for donating wonderful materials. AoC 2011.Larry delivers much needed pastel paper for AoC’s conservation education classes.

Toothbrushes, soap, art and craft materials, and more donated by Larry.

Larry at Volcana Lounge having a great time. AoC 2011.At Volcana Lounge, a fun party hosted by Cousin Kim.

Larry, Larry, Larry, on behalf of Team AoC and our students, THANK YOU VERY MUCH! Julie