Star-studded event raises £30k for new bear sanctuary in Vietnam

10 May 2023

For the tenth year, a host of Animals Asia supporters recently gathered for a glittering event to raise essential funds for our new bear sanctuary in Bach Ma, Vietnam.

Sponsored by The Mill in the beautiful, quintessentially English village of Sonning in Berkshire, it was the perfect location for an intimate evening with Animals Asia’s founder and CEO Jill Robinson and ambassadors and friends who generously donated their time and their incredible talents.

Music, laughter, and a few tears

Entitled “An Evening With Rick Wakeman”, the rock legend was joined by ambassadors Peter Egan and Lesley Nicol, British comedian Jon Culshaw, and supporter actress Sophia Del Pizzo, who all entertained the 250-strong audience with music, comedy, and stories of our rescued bears.

Raising funds for freedom

A host of highly talented supporters such as artists Richard Symonds, Steve Tandy and Suzie Marsh kindly donated artworks depicting our beautiful wildlife, while our very own Bear and Vet Team Director Heidi Quine surprised and delighted the audience with her artistic depictions of some of the bears she and our team in China cared for.

Heidi’s drawing of Weston Super Bear with his most distinguishing feature, his golden eyebrows!

Together with donated treats such as spa days and five-star, three-course meals, the auction raised an incredible £30,000 towards the building of Animals Asia’s second sanctuary in Vietnam. This sanctuary will be home to the last remaining bears on bile farms in the country and will mark the end of Vietnam’sthe bear bilebear farming industry forever.

A movement of kindness

Jill said:

“Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who was involved with this incredible event!”

“From our tenacious staff who organised and managed the entire show, to our gorgeous ambassadors and supporters who made the evening the amazing success it was, the wonderful individuals and companies who donated such incredibly generous gifts, and every animal lover who attended and parted with their hard-earned cash.”

“We all came here for one reason only: to end the suffering of the last few hundred bears who still languish on bile farms in Vietnam. And tonight has shown that, with support, we will succeed in bringing every last bear home and ending bear bile farming in Vietnam forever.”

We are almost there. Join us today to help us reach the last bears on bile farms who are patiently, but desperately waiting for us to bring them home.