March 20, 2009

Sunset Safari to Arrive at the Chula Vista Nature Center

Unique Fundraiser Set for March 28, 2009

The Friends of the Chula Vista Nature Center continue their quest to save the Center from potential closure by hosting a unique special event on Saturday, March 28. The Sunset Safari will kick off at 5 p.m. at the Chula Vista Nature Center as an evening to raise funds for local and global conservation efforts.

To highlight the local conservation efforts taking place in Chula Vista, guests will be taken on a wine tasting safari throughout the refuge to interact with many of the rehabilitated, indigenous animals at the Nature Center. Visitors will enjoy international fare by Chef Joe Busalacchi of Via Lago Trattoria, and musical and dance performances by Akayaa and Bol-ga Zohoomah and The Southwestern College African Drum and Dance Group. Just returning from Africa, world-renowned researcher and conservationist Rebecca Klein will give a presentation on the incredible mission of Cheetah Conservation Botswana. Her talk will also highlight a special guest appearance from Victor, an adolescent cheetah, who was rescued as a cub from South Africa. Artists from Splash!, a live art performance company, will paint animal portraits choreographed to music and auction the pieces to the highest bidders. Guests will also have the opportunity to bid on a multitude of specialty silent auction items such as professional guided kayak fishing expeditions on San Diego Bay, dolphin interaction experiences from Sea World and VIP package from Cricket Amphitheater for the 2009 concert series.

Tickets are available for $125 a person at (619) 409-5905. Space is limited and reservations must be received by March 20.

The Friends welcomed the opportunity to partner with non-profit organizations, Zoofari, Inc. and Cheetah Conservation Botswana on this event. Zoofari Inc., located in North County, is dedicated to the rescue and housing of unwanted, non-releasable or confiscated wildlife, both at the local and national level. In addition, the organization provides outreach conservation programs for disadvantaged youths as well as support for international wildlife conservation programs. Organized in 2003, Cheetah Conservation Botswana aims to preserve the survival of the fastest land mammal on earth through scientific research, outreach and education.

Proceeds from the event will be divided equally between the three organizations.

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