Whooping Crane Celebration Raises $8,500!
The Whooping Crane Celebration, held Friday, October 26, 2001 in Chattanooga,
exceeded its organizers' expectations by raising $8,525 from ticket
sales, donations, and a silent auction. About 240 people attended the
event, which was held at the Chattanooga Choo Choo and hosted by the
Chattanooga Chapter of the Tennessee Ornithological Society in cooperation
with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.
||(l-r) Event Chair Judy Newsome, holding check for
$8500, David Duvall, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Foundation director,
John Christian, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (in crane suit),
and Dan Hicks, TWRA, address the crowd.
The event was held, in part, to raise public awareness of recovery
efforts for the endangered Whooping Cranes. These efforts include the
passage through and stopover of an experimental flock of young Whooping
Cranes in Tennessee some time in November. For more on the progress
of this flock, see www.bringbackthecranes.org.
The money raised through the event will be used by the Tennessee Wildlife
Resources Foundation to fund planting corn for cranes - both Sandhill
and Whooping - in the Hiwassee Refuge area, and for crane-related educational
outreach, probably through a permanent kiosk at Hiwassee Refuge. A portion
of the money will also likely be donated to Operation Migration to fund
their crane recovery efforts.
|Event organizing committee members (l-r): Clyde Blum,
Judy Newsome (chair), Bonnie Johnson, David Aborn, Ken Dubke, Kevin
Calhoon, and Cynthia Wilkerson.
Dan Hicks, TWRA Region III Information & Education Coordinator,
served as master of ceremonies for the evening. He introduced the main
speaker, John Christian, Assistant Regional Director for Migratory Birds
and State Programs, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Mr. Christian appeared
dressed in one of the crane costumes worn by handlers raising the young
cranes, and gave an interesting and amusing illustrated talk on the
reintroduction effort. Mr. Hicks also recognized several TWRA employees
and TOS members in attendance, including Bonnie Johnson, an event organizer
who helped raise over $1800 through "Change for Cranes" at
Griffith Elementary School in Dunlap. The audience also enjoyed seeing
the video "Flight of the Cranes," on last year's experimental
ultralight-let migration of Sandhill Cranes from Wisconsin to Florida.
||David Duvall (l) and TWRA Region III Director Clarence
|TOS President Chuck Nicholson (r) speaks
with an attendee.
The event organizers wish to thank the following patrons: The Knoxville
Zoo, Phillip and Ellen Whitaker, Jonnie Sue and Bob Lyons, the Tennessee
Wildflower Society, Wildbirds Unlimited, and Ted and Mary Moore. Thanks
also to everyone who donated items for the silent auction.
For more information on the crane recovery effort, see: