years ago this April, Jill Robinson first walked onto a bear bile farm. On that day in April 1993, Jill could have walked away, but she chose to act and do what she could. Today, you also have a choice. If everyone reading this donated just US$20, it would pay for the care of over 150 bears at our China sanctuary for a full year. Please help us celebrate 20 years of progress. Donate US$20 today (or whatever you can afford).
Jill was delighted to present prizes to the winners of our 2012 Supporter Awards at our Healing without Harm event at the Royal Geographical Society on 18 October.
As usual the task of choosing just one worthy winner in each category is becoming ever more difficult, and every single one of our supporters is a winner to us. However, this year the results are:
Individual Supporter of the Year: Barbara Emery Whatever the event, whatever the weather, whatever the hours … Barbara (Babs) is one of our most dedicated volunteers. Babs is always there for us and just quietly and efficiently gets on with it.
Jill says: “Nothing is too much trouble for this "can do" superwoman, with her never-ending generosity of time and smiles, who devotes endless hours in support of the bears. On behalf of hundreds of cubs and adults in China and Vietnam, we thank and salute you - Babs - for your kindness and compassion and for truly being a bears' best friend.”
Corporate Supporter of the Year: Empath-e Ltd. This year, with the Moonstruck exhibition in London being one of our major fundraising initiatives, there could be no other winner than Mike and Tracie Spragg’s Empath-e Ltd. Their generous sponsorship of the exhibition, allowed Animals Asia not only to hold the exhibition in such a prestigious location but also to maximise all the funds raised through sales of the fabulous artwork.
Jill says: “Mike and Tracie are the perfect example of corporate bosses who embrace social responsibility for the good of the environment and the animals that share our world. Where would the bears be without ethical and empathetic companies like these who believe in giving back so that the ripples of compassion can spread. Thank you Empath-e, heroes of the business community, for your generosity of heart and funding - spearheading a kinder world for us all.”
Novel Idea: Richard Symonds and Suzie Marsh Well, with the huge success of Moonstruck, there could be no other winners! Following a meeting with Jill at the Goodwood event in 2010, wildlife artist Richard Symonds was so affected by the story of the bears that he immediately offered to hold an art exhibition on our behalf to raise both funds and awareness. Suzie Marsh soon joined him in this venture and together they embarked on a long journey, via a visit to the bears in Chengdu for inspiration, giving up over a year of their lives to produce the fabulous drawings and sculptures that were featured in Moonstruck.
Jill says: “We're absolutely delighted to be awarding two of the kindest and most talented artists on the planet with the best novel fundraising idea. Richard and Suzie epitomise how passion for art and animals can convert directly into practical programmes of help. Their memorable trip to Chengdu saw them meeting the brave and forgiving victims of the bear farming trade, and then devoting the next year of their lives on return to creating their breath-taking art. The resulting Moonstruck exhibition saw drawings and sculptures portraying the bears' beauty and individuality, in a lifelong legacy, which is helping them all.”
Support Group: South Devon Support Group For over nine years, the South Devon Support Group headed up by Anna Harrison and Brian Bicknell (aka Moonie) have been tirelessly raising funds and awareness for Animals Asia in their ‘spare’ time. We really couldn’t achieve what we do without them so we would like to present this award to South Devon Support Group with our thanks in recognition of their unceasing commitment and support.
Jill says: “Fabulous long-time support group, South Devon, have been at the forefront of ending bear farming almost since the campaign began. Inventively and creatively holding fundraisers and public education events, these amazing people brave the elements and put heart and soul into raising much needed funds for the bears. All of our support groups are super special, but South Devon coordinated by the tireless Anna and Brian, deservedly win this year's award for their devotion and commitment to the cause ... until the cruelty ends.”