Archive for the ‘Thanks’ Category

The Shoes off My Feet

Friday, December 22nd, 2017

As the saying goes, if you really care for someone you’d give them the shirt off your back. For Jamie, it’s going to have to be the shoes off your feet.

The Seven Reasons Why

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017

The love of Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest donors never ceases to amaze me.

You all exceeded the $15,000 goal for Giving Tuesday, and there are still several hours left in the day, so I’ve bumped up the goal to $20,000!

I know why you’re so generous. It’s the same seven reasons that motivate me.


burrito sitting



annie in yoga pose



Jody in fall grass



Negra eating pomegranate



foxie biting dora








and their lives at the sanctuary:


Annie Giving Tuesday



Seventh Day of Thanks, Featuring EVERYONE and Jamie

Monday, November 27th, 2017

Today is the seventh day of thanks highlighting seven different donors and their seven ways of donating + the seven chimpanzees at the sanctuary!

For a recap of the first five posts, day one featured legacy donor Bruce Davidson + Burrito, day two featured event donor Kathy Cochran + Annie, day three featured recurring donor Julie Olson + Jody, day four featured challenge and competition donor Monica Best + Negra, day five featured wish list donor Vicki Fagerlee + Foxie, and day six featured major donor Karen Emmerman Mazner + Missy.

Today I’m featuring stock donor Joan Z., but I have a difficult time thinking about all of the donors that were not featured this week, so really today is featuring everyone.

Joan recently offerred to put up a matching challenge for Giving Tuesday by way of transferring stocks to the sanctuary, and I’m going to talk more about that generous challenge tomorrow.

Really quickly, though, I want to be sure that everyone knows that transferring stocks to the sanctuary is super easy. All the information you need is on the donate page, and you can just send us a quick email or give us a call to let us know when you are making the transfer.

There are potential financial benefits to you for transferring stocks rather than cashing them in (if you’ve held them a year or more). Talk to your broker about the details, but, in a nutshell, you can avoid capital gains tax by transferring stocks to nonprofits rather than cashing in the stocks, so you’re able to potentially give more to the sanctuary. Pretty cool if you’re in the position to be thinking about these things! Our current policy is to cash in the stocks when we receive them, so we get the donation within days. Big thanks to Joan and everyone who has donated securities!

I have barely scratched the surface of all of the ways that people give to the sanctuary! I could have profiled hundreds of people. I think that’s the beauty of Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest – each person finds their own way to support the chimpanzees and it takes everyone to give the chimpanzees the sanctuary home that they deserve.

Some people give their time by volunteering in the chimp house, as board members, or as event volunteers. Shawn, for example, is our first maintenance volunteer. He comes out on weekends and helps J.B. with all kinds of maintenance projects in the chimp house and around the property.

Others donate their professional services. Lori and Kathleen, who both live many states away, donate their graphic design services to create beautiful and compelling graphics for campaigns and events.

Some donors have arranged fundraising events on their own or asked their friends and family to donate to the sanctuary rather than give gifts for birthdays, weddings, and holidays.

There are a lot of ways to give! And most of you choose to give in several different ways. It’s a beautiful thing. Donors are the heart of what makes this sanctuary possible.

Jamie, the boss, can be hard to please, but I believe she would give a head nod of approval if she understood all of the ways that supporters contribute to her health and happiness and the long-term stability of the sanctuary. She plans to be around for many more years and demands that each day be a full one – as it should be.

jamie with boots

jamie with barrel

Jamie on fire hose


jamie inspecting trees

Jamie on twister

jamie givingtuesday


Sixth Day of Thanks, Featuring Karen & Missy

Sunday, November 26th, 2017

Today is the sixth day of thanks highlighting seven different donors and their seven ways of donating + the seven chimpanzees at the sanctuary!

Today I give thanks to major donor Karen Emmerman Mazner and I share some photos of the always busy Missy.

For a recap of the first five posts, day one featured legacy donor Bruce Davidson + Burrito, day two featured event donor Kathy Cochran + Annie, day three featured recurring donor Julie Olson + Jody, day four featured challenge and competition donor Monica Best + Negra, and yesterday, day five, featured wish list donor Vicki Fagerlee + Foxie.

We were thrilled to have Karen as our honoree at this year’s HOOT! gala, and she gave the best speech that explained why she decided to give a large contribution towards the Bring Them Home Campaign for Expansion. Here’s just a bit of what she said (it still gives me goosebumps):

If you’re a person who, like me, tears up when watching the videos of Foxie with her Troll dolls, Burrito being goofy, and Jamie bossing everyone around and you want more Foxies, Burritos, and Jamies to live out their lives with Troll dolls, goofiness, and bossing humans around then please join me in supporting CSNW’s efforts to bring more chimpanzees home to sanctuary.

I want more chimpanzees to know that their lives have changed for the better because they feel it in their new environment, in the people who care for them, and in the grass beneath their feet.  They feel it every time they say “no” and a human says “ok, your body belongs to you” instead of “I’m doing it anyway.”

Karen has put a lot of trust in us to fulfill our shared goal of providing a home for more chimpanzees. She knows that we’ve faced some headwinds in our efforts towards this goal. We were really hoping that 2017 would be the year that we would welcome more chimpanzees to CSNW, but we are okay working on a different timeline. We remain determined to do whatever we can to help the remaining chimpanzees in laboratories find their sanctuary home. We are eager to break ground for the Phase 1 construction of the expansion next year, which will benefit the seven chimpanzees already here in addition to preparing for more chimps. Karen’s donation will make that possible.


Missy seemed like an appropriate chimpanzee to feature with this post. She takes full advantage of all that the sanctuary has to offer. Obstacles simply do not deter her – she’ll find a way around them or just conquer them.

Young’s Hill, the chimpanzees two-acre habitat, was named after past major donors Karen and Don Young, who donated a large gift to get the hill construction started, in addition to other large gifts for other projects like the greenhouse and the veterinary clinic trailer.

Missy loves Young’s Hill. She especially seems to enjoy the first exploration of the day. I tried to get some photos of Missy on the hill yesterday morning. This is always a challenge, because she is usually a blur of motion. She ran, climbed, and swung from one structure to another – leaving virtually nothing untouched.

She would stop very briefly when she reached a destination, quickly survey her surroundings, and then leap away again to continue her exploration.

Fifth Day of Thanks, Featuring Vicki Fagerlee & Foxie

Saturday, November 25th, 2017

Yesterday, J.B. took some photos of the chimpanzees enjoying their post-Thanksgiving morning romp on the hill. It was a beautiful morning yesterday and the chimpanzees wasted no time in taking advantage of the sunshine. There are some great images of Foxie in this post below!

Today is the fifth day of thanks highlighting seven different donors and their seven ways of donating + the seven chimpanzees at the sanctuary!

In case you missed the first four posts, day one featured legacy donor Bruce Davidson + Burrito, day two featured event donor Kathy Cochran + Annie, day three featured recurring donor Julie Olson + Jody, and day four featured challenge and competition donor Monica Best + Negra.

For the fifth day of thanks, we are sending big thanks to Vicki Fagerlee and everyone who sends items via our wishlist. Vicki won a “spend the day behind-the-scenes at the sanctuary” auction item a few years ago and traveled halfway across the country for that unique experience. It was really special for the staff to be able to meet Vicki in person and get to know her, and to introduce her to the chimpanzees who she had been following via the internet. Vicki also donates cold hard cash, but she likes to supplement her cash donations by browsing the wish list for all of the somewhat boring supplies needed to run the chimp house and fun stuff for the chimpanzees too.

Here’s what Vicki had to stay about her wish list giving:

It’s an easy way to contribute to the functioning of the sanctuary and the happiness of the chimpanzees. With the wish list, I know what I’m buying is exactly what is needed. Plus it makes me feel so good to give in a small way. You are all so special and I saw first-hand all that it takes to keep things going on a daily basis.

She also added this about following the blog, “Your daily updates put me in my happy place.”

That last sentiment made my day. I just love knowing that people are following the lives of the chimpanzees and that these seven chimpanzee people bring happiness to a lot of human people out there.

For those who even just casually check in on the blog once in a while, you likely are very aware of Foxie’s love of dolls. Her main and original love is troll dolls:

foxie troll on neck


but she also likes Dora the Explorer and friends:


and the occasional “other” doll:


Her main type seems to be handheld size dolls with hard plastic bodies, big eyes, and a bonus for colorful hair.

Like any collector, Foxie has her old favorites. Today she has been carrying around a standard troll with orange hair that is missing one eye and is one firm bite away from being without feet. Each time I passed her by during the cleaning routine this morning, she pushed this troll out to me.

I think it was the same doll that she carried around all day last week:

foxie holding troll


Also like a true collector, Foxie  is always excited when new dolls arrive for her in the mail. So we do add dolls to our amazon wish list once in a while. There are a lot of materials that we’re not able to give to the chimpanzees (see the long list here), so when items are purchased from the wish list, you know they have been pre-approved by the staff.

Recently, Foxie’s been into a line of Strawberry Shortcake dolls. She had one of them on her morning romp on the hill yesterday. Here are those photos taken by J.B. that I promised:

foxie and the landscape

foxie holding doll

foxie tossing doll

Fourth Day of Thanks, Featuring Monica & Negra

Friday, November 24th, 2017

All of the chimpanzees slept off their Thanksgiving feast from yesterday and are eager to get outside in the gift of late November sunshine today!

We’re all feeling very thankful.

Today is the fourth day of thanks highlighting seven different donors and their seven ways of donating + the seven chimpanzees at the sanctuary.

If you missed the first three, day one featured legacy donor Bruce Davidson + Burrito, day two featured event donor Kathy Cochran + Annie, and day three featured recurring donor Julie Olson + Jody.

Today we are featuring Monica, who has made a big difference with her competition/challenge donations. She’s also a recurring donor and participates in our fall online auctions in a big way. This year, Monica was instrumental in getting us way beyond our goal for Giving Day for Apes. In truth, she really coaxed me into the spirit of the competition this year in a way that I would not have if she had not been so enthusiastic and hopeful for the sanctuary’s chances of winning some additional cash prizes.

Why does Monica give? Here’s her answer:

For seven of the most beautiful beings in the world. You helped save my life, now I will do anything in my power to help give you Hope. Love. Home…Sanctuary.

I really like matching and competition donations because it gives everyone a chance to get in on the fun of giving at whatever level they are able. For challenge pledges, they know every dollar they give will be doubled. It’s great to see everyone come together to reach a goal. On Giving Day for Apes this year, it was so amazing watching everyone rise to the challenge to help the chimps. I had tears in my eyes as I saw the donations and beautiful comments streaming in on the donation page.


I know that Queen Negra plays a special role in Monica’s life, so I’m just going to follow up those inspiring words from Monica with this photo I recently took of CSNW’s Royal Highness:


With Giving Tuesday just a few days away, it seems appropriate to be deeply thankful for those who give towards these specific limited-time fundraising challenges like Giving Day for Apes and Giving Tuesday. They are a big part of our budgeted income for the year, and it means a ton that CSNW donors are so eager to rise to the challenge and respond when others have pledged matching donations. Stay tuned for info on the matching donation pledges on Tuesday!

Back to Negra. I know that she fills a lot of hearts out there. She’s the perfect combination of sweet  plus fiesty and demanding. She really does epitomize, in my mind, why sanctuaries for chimpanzees are so important. She was captured in Africa as a baby and served the interests of humans for more than three decades. She deserves to be as fiesty and demanding as she wants.


And she deserves all the blankets our arms can carry (and then some):

Negra sleeping


Negra’s slower pace at exploring her sanctuary world makes her adventures all the more special. Each year she discovers a spot on Young’s Hill that she has never been to before, and it takes our breath away.

negra in the grass

negra by Twister

Negra on stump


Thank you, Monica. Thank you, Negra. And thank you in advance to everyone who is participating in Giving Tuesday!

Negra Giving Tuesday


Giving Thanks

Thursday, November 23rd, 2017

Today we’re thankful for love, family, and food grunts.

On today’s menu:

Field Roast with gravy
baked apples
green beans
cranberry sauce
sweet rolls
baked potatoes
roasted chestnuts
sparkling apple cider

We hope you and your family enjoy your festivities as much as the Cle Elum Seven enjoyed theirs. Happy Thanksgiving!

Second Day of Thanks, Featuring Kathy & Annie

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017

This is the second installment in our week of thanks highlighting seven donors that represent seven different types of giving, while also highlighting the seven chimpanzees.

As I mentioned yesterday in the first post highlighting Bruce Davidson’s legacy giving, we at Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest have a lot of people to be thankful for every day, and there is not a single day that goes by that I am not actively thinking about how grateful I am for all of the supporters who make up the family of the sanctuary.

Today, I have chosen to highlight Kathy Cochran for her event giving. Kathy is a retired lawyer and a current photographer (check out her amazing photography here). She was an early donor to the sanctuary, starting in 2008. Here is why Kathy gives to CSNW, in her own words,

I represented pharmaceutical companies in litigation for many years, and in that capacity learned about animal testing as a part of gaining approval from the FDA.  When I heard about CSNW, I felt one way I could thank and apologize to these beings for their involuntary (and often unnecessary) servitude was to contribute to CSNW. I have since followed this sanctuary closely, and get a great deal of satisfaction knowing that this is an organization addressing the aftermath of society’s mistreatment of these intelligent and soulful beings.

What better chimpanzee to feature as the intelligent and soulful being that she is than Annie?

Annie chin hair

(above photo of Annie by J.B.)

Like many of the donors we’ll be talking about over the week, Kathy has given and shown her support in several different ways, including lending her artistic talents in designing promotional material and donating photos for our auctions. Raising her paddle during the donation portion of our gala events has been her “specialty” of sorts. Even on years when she wasn’t able to attend our gala, she made sure that there was a proxy bidder to make her donation.

Each year, auctioneer Laura Michalek has been able to leverage Kathy’s raise-the-paddle pledge to inspire others to give during the sometimes knuckle-biting portion of the auction. Kathy’s event donations have gone towards crucial general operating expenses, helped create a greenhouse out of the chimps’ original “outdoor” area, aided in the completion of Young’s Hill, allowed us to purchase and outfit a trailer into a veterinary clinic, and, most recently, have contributed to the Bring Them Home expansion fund for the chimpanzee building expansion.

That was fun to write all of that out, because it shows how integral event donations have been to the last nine years of sanctuary. Wow!

If you’re the type that plans ahead, or if you’re the type that tends to forget (that probably covers everyone, right?), and you’re able to get yourself to Seattle next spring, add the date for next year’s HOOT! gala to all of your calendars now: Saturday, May 19th.

Between Kathy today and Bruce and Burrito yesterday, I hope you are feeling the thankfulness and inspiration too.


Below are a few more photos of the beautiful Annie for even more inspiration.


This one, also taken by J.B., symbolizes how far Annie has come. Looking at her calm face as she is perched high up on the twister structure alone, it’s easy to forget the anxiety-filled Annie that we met when she arrived at the sanctuary.

Annie on twister


Annie knows herself so much better now, and her awakening has been a beautiful experience to witness.

annie with bit of tree



First Day of Thanks, Featuring Bruce and Burrito

Tuesday, November 21st, 2017

We have a whole heck of a lot to be thankful for here at Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest. We have an amazing team of staff, board members, and volunteers, and a huge network of supporters spread all over the world.

It would take us years to highlight each donor (wouldn’t that be fun, though!). Trying to be realistic, I decided to take this week of Thanksgiving to tell, in brief, the stories of a few different donors as representatives of the many ways that people support the chimpanzees.

With seven days and seven types of donors it seems appropriate to also highlight the seven chimpanzees while I’m at it, right?!

So, today, on day one, I’m starting the week in a big way by highlighting Bruce Davidson and Burrito.

burrito with toy bowl

We were first introduced to Bruce Davidson over two years ago via the nephew of long-time donors Margaret Parkinson and Karen Creason. Bruce had begun thinking about getting his will in order and wanted to designate a large portion of his estate to go towards a nonprofit. Here’s Bruce in his own words,

When I saw the original KCTS piece on the sanctuary years ago I was struck by the “audacity” of a relatively small group of people with relatively limited funds dedicated to doing what they could to make a difference. “How about we start out by saving seven?  Seven. That’s seven who won’t hurt anymore.”  The Audacity of Hope indeed.

Bruce has visited the sanctuary twice and this last summer we were able to show him the additional parcels of land that we had acquired and were working on acquiring (more news on that soon!). Here’s what I didn’t realize would happen with a donor whose focus is entirely on a potentially large gift that will happen (hopefully) far in the future: it has been a huge source of motivation. We know that Bruce has put the trust of his legacy in the sanctuary, and we are inspired to live up to that profound level of trust.

If the need still exists, we all want the sanctuary to live far beyond our lifetimes, and Bruce is going to be a part of making this possible. Isn’t that amazing?!

If you’re curious about becoming a legacy donor, you can check out this page on our website:

So, Burrito…

This morning when I entered the chimp house, Burrito greeted me with the usual mix of, let’s call it “assertiveness” and playfulness that is his typical greeting towards me. This means that he first needs to get out a bang or a spit towards me before he gets down to the business of play. He had a big pair of plastic tweezers that he handed/pushed towards me, which I proceeded to use as a back-scratcher, finger-grabber, and stomach-tickler.

It’s just a fact that, while Burrito can be downright intimidating:

there is no way to resist his charm:

Burrito being coy

New Enrichment!

Saturday, November 11th, 2017

We thought the chimpanzees should get something new and exciting since we raised more than expected on Giving Day for Apes…