Gala Helps Protect
Story by Edward T. Callaghan
Photos by Rob Rich
HE Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers was a very exotic petting zoo for the annual Wildlife Trust International Conservation Awards Gala with eagles flapping their wings and friendly kinkajous cuddling with guests.
Philanthropist Virginia Mars and broadcast journalist Lynn Sherr of ABC-TV co-chaired the gala the proceeds of which will continue the organization’s efforts to protect endangered species and further its pioneering work in conservation medicine.
What better way to bring the point home than to allow guests to come close to endangered species by holding a chunky armadillo, have a kinkajou wrap itself around your neck or an eagle perched on your shoulder.
Wildlife Trust president Mary C. Pearl presented the organization’s highest honor to Virginia Busch, president of the Sea World and Busch Gardens Conservation Fund for the Anheuser Busch Companies, for her dedication to preserving the environment.
Professor Damayanti Buchori of PEKA, Indonesia, was honored for her work with insect studies and conservation in tsunami ravaged Indonesia. Martin Kaplan and his firm Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Door were also saluted for their outstanding record of pro-bono work for Wildlife Trust.
Wildlife Trust is recognized as a worldwide authority in conservation and the environment, having been responsible for many scientific breakthroughs, including discovering the origin of the SARS virus.