A massive thank you to everyone who attended our annual Christmas fundraiser!
The day began rather poorly as the coach bearing 30 students and staff from the University of York turned up in the pouring rain for their pre-fundraiser tour around the zoo. Most of the animals were sheltering from the rain, except of course for the penguins, who did a great job in entertaining us all with their acrobatics.
After a rather soggy tour, Zoo Manager Ross Snipp gave a thumping talk on his recent expedition to Tanzania, where he joined the rest of the UFP team. As this was his first visit to the project, we introduced Ross to all the aspects of our work, and we of course made sure that Ross got his fair share of the African experience, including car tyre punctures, close encounters with big animals, and countless insect bites. However, "Mr. Losi" took it all rather well, and overall had an amazing trip; and what was the best part of the trip for our intrepid Zoo Manager?... It was the people, the lovely, welcoming Tanzanian villagers.
So, after a heart-warming talk, everyone headed to the Coach House pub where we fuelled everyone with food and drink to prepare them for the auction and raffle in aid of UFP. Everyone was so generous, and we fetched some great prices for some of the prizes from the assembled bidders, including four separate phone bidders. For me as auctioneer it was all wonderful, until that is the audience started bidding for my own Christmas cardigan, which was not up for sale! In the end though, I couldn't not hand it over for the cause.
In the end we raised over £1,700 for UFP, getting us a good deal along the road towards our annual £10,000 target. With secondary school education costing just £8/year in Tanzania, a little goes a long way, and the money raised should make a significant impact. Thank you all so much :)
- Andy Marshall (Director of Conservation Science)