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June 26, 2007 - A special birthday party - and conference update

Dear Friends of Jungle Friends,

Phoebe, whose family are long-time supporters of Jungle Friends, recently had her 10th birthday party. She asked all of her friends to skip the gifts for her, and instead donate to Jungle Friends so that she could sponsor Joni, a disabled capuchin monkey who lives at the sanctuary. I am happy to report that the birthday party for the love of monkeys was a huge success! Phoebe received lots of donations from her friends and family, and is now Joni's newest and youngest sponsor! Phoebe also has a "Funky Monkey Club"; she and her friends are true monkey lovers!

The "Party Animals" from left to right:
front row: Phoebe (the birthday girl) & Amanda
second row from front: Rachel, Audrey, Maddie, Antonia & Naomi
third row from front: Rachel, Rachel, Julia & Erica
back row: Michael & Genna.

I asked Phoebe what she would like to say to others about her fundraiser, and this was her reply:

"I helped to make a difference, and so can you. I learned about Jungle Friends because my Grandmother had a connection to Kari and someone else who volunteers there, Jessica. I got to tour Jungle Friends and see all the monkeys twice. The first time I hadn't helped out yet. That was what made me feel I had to.

For my 10th birthday party, I decided to ask my friends to bring money to sponsor Joni, a monkey at Jungle Friends, instead of presents. I knew that millions of people don't know what some humans do to some of the most strongly loved creatures on the face of the earth, and seeing Joni making it around her habitat with only her arms and hands, and seeing all the monkeys that came from labs shuddering in fear when any human came by, I thought even the slightest favor was needed.

My friend Rachel says, "It made me feel like I was saving monkeys, which is good, because I have a deep passion for monkeys." I am very glad she does, because everyone at my party raised a grand total of $288 for Joni and the other monkeys! (Rachel and I are co-presidents of The Funky Monkey Club.)

At my party (which had a monkey theme, of course) we made banana splits; sock-monkey heads, which we promptly named; and played lots of games outside, like tag and hide-and-seek. As far as I know, my friends had a great time helping monkeys and enjoying the party.

All kids who feel the need to help out these wonderful monkeys, here's a message: Pursue your dreams in ways both big and small. You'll be surprised how much of a difference it will make."

Phoebe returned to Jungle friends with her generous donations and to visit with Joni and her mother Gussie, pictured below.

From left to right: Gussie, Joni, Kari & Phoebe

Phoebe is an extraordinary young woman whose family has instilled in her the importance of charity and of caring for all of Earth's inhabitants. I count myself lucky to have a good friend in Phoebe! Everyone at Jungle Friends, especially Joni, looks forward to Phoebe's return.

Using a birthday or other special event is a great way to "spread the word" and share your own interest in the Jungle Friends' monkeys with your friends and family. It works for grown-ups too - as one of our new sponsors recently demonstrated. Many thanks to Bob and his friends for their donations in honor of Bob's 65th birthday!

The time for the Animal Rights 2007 National Conference is fast approaching. The preliminary schedule is now available at... (Link is no longer in service.) Although subject to change, right now it looks like I'll be presenting in two workshops, "Abusing Our Cousins" (Saturday, July 21, 2:30) and "Running a Sanctuary" (Sunday, July 22, 10:00). Jungle Friends will also have a table in the Exhibit Room, which is open to the public and free. If you're planning to attend the conference, be sure to come by and see us. And, when making travel arrangements, don't forget that when you use this link -- a percentage will be donated to the Jungle Friends. (Link is no longer in service. But you can still Donate to Jungle Friends Here.) I hope I'll see lots of you in Los Angeles!

Lots of monkey love,
Kari and the monks