Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Tusk Wildlife Gala

Kim Brizzolara and David Yarrow.  Best-selling wildlife photographer David Yarrow contributes 10% of all his print and book sales to Tusk.  He is standing in front of one of the live auction items -  his limited-edition photograph of Guhonda, probably the oldest gorilla left in the wild.
by Delia von Neuschatz

On Thursday April 6th, under the vaulted ceiling of Guastavino’s,
nearly 500 guests gathered in support of Tusk USA as the conservation charity hosted an evening of cocktails and dinner honoring several renowned wildlife advocates.  Honorees included legendary Kenyan conservationist Richard Leakey and award-winning director, Richard Ladkani, and Academy Award-nominated director, Kief Davidson, for their Netflix documentary, The Ivory Game.  The best-selling wildlife photographer, David Yarrow, was the evening’s special guest.
Academy Award-nominated director Kief Davidson and award-winning director Richard Ladkani received the Tusk Game-Changer Award for their documentary The Ivory Game.  The award was presented to them via video by trailblazing scientist and champion of animal welfare, Dr. Jane Goodall.
In the making of The Ivory Game, directors Kief Davidson and Richard Ladkani and their crew spent 16 months undercover, infiltrating the corrupt global network of ivory trafficking from the poaching of elephants in Africa to the smuggling of tusks into China.  This life-endangering mission took the filmmakers from Tanzania, Kenya and Zambia to China, Hong Kong, and Vietnam.
Renowned paleoanthropologist, conservationist and Kenyan politician, Richard Leakey, was the recipient of the evening’s Legacy Award.  He is pictured here in 1989 when, as chairman of the Kenya Wildlife Service, he burned a stock pile of 12 tons of ivory in Nairobi National Park, setting off a period which saw a dramatic reduction in poaching in Kenya.
Tico McNutt, Founder and Director of the Botswana Predator Conservation Trust
“Thanks to Tusk’s vision and the dedicated work of its carefully selected project partners, large numbers of rural communities are now living peaceably alongside wildlife and benefiting from a more sustainable future.” - Prince William, HRH The Duke of Cambridge, Tusk’s Royal Patron
Attendees included Lee Auchincloss, Nick Beinstock, Henry and Wendy Breck, Moira Burnham, Robby Browne, John and Glenda Burkhart, Peggy Cafferty, David Patrick Columbia, Wendy Diamond, Rob and Griff Fairbairn, Edoardo Ferragamo, George and Marnie Franklin, John Heminway, Hon. John Key, MC O’Connor, Charlie Mayhew, and Gilda Moratti.

The evening featured a live and silent auction and concluded with an official after-party hopping to the music provided by DJ Flo and celebrated saxophonist Dave Mullen. 
Guests examining the silent auction items.
Silent auction items included a two-night stay for two at Solio Lodge.   A luxury boutique camp that is part of The Safari Collection, Solio Lodge is located on a private wildlife sanctuary tucked between Mount Kenya and the Aberdare Mountains, directly north of Nairobi.  
Solio Lodge remains the only guest accommodation on the 45,000-acre Solio Game Reserve which is  internationally recognized as the most successful private rhino breeding reserve in Kenya.  Sightings of up to 40 rhinoceros at a time are not uncommon.  The abundant wildlife on the reserve also includes giraffes, lions, leopards and cheetahs. 
Silent auction items also included a two-night stay for two at London’s world-renowned 5-star Claridge’s hotel, complete with dinner at the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant Fera
Fera at Clarige’s.
The evening’s auctioneer, Sotheby’s Courtney Booth Christensen
Since its inception 27 years ago, Tusk has invested more than $40 million in a wide variety of initiatives across the African continent. HRH the Duke of Cambridge has been a powerful advocate of Tusk’s endeavors since he became the charity’s Royal Patron in 2005.  While conservation of wildlife remains a key objective with substantial funding going towards the protection of threatened species including elephant, rhino, cheetah, gorilla and even marine animals such as turtles, the charity takes a comprehensive approach to conservation recognizing that the long-term future for wildlife is dependent on sustainable development.  As such, Tusk has provided aid to more than 50 education, employment and healthcare projects in 18 African countries.

To find out how you can support Tusk, click here.
Ellen O’Connell, Executive Director of Tusk USA, with John Heminway and Caroline Bassett Josh and Elana Levine
Kelly Vitko, Eliza Glaister, Lara Glaister and Lydia Rouse, Development Manager at Tusk
Wendy Diamond Jia Li and Debra Stein
John Kay, Rhona Kay, Charles Mayhew MBE, Chief Executive of Tusk and Midori Miyazaki
Luke Parker Bowles and Daniela Parker Bowles Jessica Gimbel and Ali Grey
Jacqueline Russell, Summer Russell and Marije Ter Ellen
Teodora Coppola and Lisa Gaglia Fernanda Queiroz and Asanka Pathiraja
Morgan Wilson, Jonathan Awad and Sam Schmidt
Conrad Roncati and Nicole Guba Candice Wexler and John Cook
Charlène von Saher, Kelly Vitko, and Delia and Kevin von Neuschatz
Morgan Wilson, Asanka Pathiraja and Ellen O'Connell
Jacqueline Kent Cooke, Parker Calvert and Clayton Calvert Brittany Diaz and Katera Mujadidi
Duane Hampton, David Patrick Columbia and Wendy Breck
Bidding during the live auction heats up!
Milly Cannon, Douglas Dechert and Emma Waldron
David Yarrow with Minister Gligor Tashkovich
Gareth Roriston, Nariel Roriston and David Yarrow
DJ Flo
Antonella Mastropierro and Marisa Tomsky
The after-party in full swing.
Alex Wilson and Natasha Blodgett Leaving with the goody bags.
Photographs by Annie Watt