Hoot for Chimps

I recently attended Hoot, benefit gala for the residents who live at Chimpanzee Sanctuary NW. The gala was at Bell Harbor, an event space on Alaska Way in Seattle, with views of Puget Sound. What a wonderful excuse to dress up!

My husband and I started the evening by buying raffle tickets from our friends Carol and Rachel, who were volunteering at the event.

raffle

We listened to a live band while perusing the auction items and learning about the chimps’ interests and habits at interactive stations. I visited all seven stations and had my chimp passport stamped so I could enter a drawing.

At the stations we learned about Foxie’s love of troll dolls. That Jodie likes to make nests out of blankets. Jamie is the boss. Burrito loves food. Negra is besties with Burrito. Missy loves playing chase. Annie likes to wrestle.

Friends of ours bought a table’s worth of tickets so we could all sit together. In exchange for their generosity, and instead of paying them back, they asked only that we spend money at the gala. Done and done!

I bid on several items at the silent auction and won a Lush gift certificate and a gift certificate for Café Flora. During the live auction, which happened during dinner, I won a two nights’ stay at Someday Farm vegan B&B! I can’t wait to go.

Speaking of dinner, the all-vegan feast was scrumptious. I was happy that there weren’t meat dishes. People helping some animals by eating others doesn’t make sense to me. Chimpanzee Sanctuary NW got it right. We ate a wonderful tomato salad, lasagna, and best of all, cake from Violet Sweet Shoppe.

vegan dinner

Dessert was offered in a contest of sorts. The table that pledged the most money got to pick first. There were 20 tables and 20 cakes. We were 10th in line, and we got our peanut butter chocolate cake! But honestly, you can’t go wrong with anything Violet Sweet Shoppe makes.

Violet Sweet Shoppe's vegan cakes

The entire evening was smoothly run. There were lots of opportunities to contribute, but it was all fun, and never felt like a sales pitch. The wine was flowing, which I think was an effective way for people to loosen their purse strings! When all was said and done, we raised $179,000.

It’s important to remember that the evening was about seven wonderful animals who suffered for decades as research test subjects. I wrote about them in an earlier post. Please read their stories. The least we can do is provide some semblance of normalcy in their golden years. Humans made their lives a living hell and we owe it to them to give them the best lives possible. The gala raised a lot of money for the chimps, but with voracious appetites and regular vet needs, running the sanctuary is expensive. If you can, please make a donation. The gala is over for this year but the bills won’t stop coming in.