Brighton bids boost IAR's bear campaign
An email auction to raise money for IAR's dancing bear campaign was organised by Brighton woman Phillipa Alexander. It took place on Friday 2 September at several local companies, including BUPA International where Phillipa works, as well as Legal & General, Lloyds TSB and American Express. Bids were taken until Wednesday 7 September.
Phillipa's fundraising event raised a grand total of £6000. A cheque for that amount was presented to Carrie Colliss at BUPA International on Friday 30 September. The Brighton branch of the company contributed more than half the money. This will enable IAR to rescue six more bears from the streets and care for them for a year. On learning of Phillipa’s great success, Carrie said: "Support from passionate animal lovers like Phillipa is absolutely vital if we are to continue our campaign to cut free all the dancing bears in India. With determination, energy and enthusiasm, individuals like Phillipa can really help us make a difference to the lives of suffering animals. Our grateful thanks to Phillipa, to BUPA Community Connections and to everyone who supported the silent auction."
Phillipa has been passionate about the plight of the dancing bears ever since she witnessed their suffering during a trip to India last year. She was so shocked by the cruelty inflicted on them that she resolved to raise money for IAR to help rescue more bears.
Phillipa was outside the Taj Mahal when she saw a group of dancing bears being dragged along the road by their noses and forced to 'dance' for tourists. She realised that the bears were being beaten with sticks if they didn’t perform. Blood was pouring from the raw nose wounds that had ropes threaded through them to control the bears and force them up on their hindlegs.
On her return home Phillipa contacted IAR and pledged to back our campaign to stamp out the dancing bear trade and rehabilitate the rescued bears in sanctuaries in India. With tremendous energy and enthusiasm she approached companies and individuals in Brighton and Hove and received massive support from people willing to help. Items being auctioned included a beautiful silver charm bracelet donated by a local jeweller, a hand painted platter, a yummy chocolate bear, a bungee jump, meals at local restaurants, tickets to Komedia and a stay at a well-known Brighton hotel - to name but a few!
Local press, radio and TV were also covering the auction. IAR's Carrie Colliss and Lis Key spent the day at Bupa International in Brighton on Friday supporting Phillipa's efforts and chatting to her colleagues about IAR's work. Phillipa and friend Mark - who bravely wore a bear costume in spite of the warm weather - visited all the offices and raised more than £350 by rattling a bucket and selling teddy bears!
Huge thanks go to Phillipa and her wonderful supportive friends for putting on the auction, and also to Bupa Community Connections for agreeing to match Phillipa’s fundraising efforts with a very generous donation.