Gorilla Organization


The Gorilla Organization, the international charity led by experienced African conservationists dedicated to saving the world’s last remaining gorillas from extinction. Our award-winning community-based approach to conservation promotes sustainable livelihoods, nurtures young conservationists of the future and empowers local people to tackle the main threats to the gorillas’ survival.

UK Reg Charity 1117131

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Day 164 - Barking dogs (Part 2 of 2)

OK, so thats the excuse for Friday done in the previous post ... so why didn't I post yesterday either? well ...


This was a very very big day, as Festival Place the local shopping centre was allowing me to have an awareness day for the Gorilla Organization (a.k.a. the charity I'm running the London Marathon for).

This meant getting everything set-up for 8:30am, and for my wife and I to man the stall until 5pm - so we knew it was going to be a long day. Also, as it was not a charity spot we couldn't collect on their behalf at this spot - we could however point people in the direction of the 'Lush' store in Basingstoke (just around the corner) who were holding a 'Charity Pot Party'  for the gorillas on the same day.

To keep the spectacle up for the day I was wearing a gorilla suit for the day (about 10 hours in total) which worked really well as a technique for getting peoples attention - we could then show them details on the display we put together in the morning.

Many leaflets ... posters and a gorilla
There was a reasonable amount of interest in the day from the public, and many many smiling faces as a gorilla waved at them as they walked past.

I did make one mistake - as my legs were a bit stiff from the previous days run, and standing around all that time wasn't helping them much - so I went for a brief jog around the centre to stretch the legs (still as a gorilla), however we didn't realise that even though Helen was manning the stall - I should have been there too as I was wearing a distinctive  (and furry) outfit.  The security staff though were really great, and advised me to head back to the stand - which I did, and all was well.

One of my favourite moments in the day was a small child (dressed as Buzz Light Year) who had bought a 'Charity Pot' tester from Lush for the gorillas, but insisted to his parents that it was for the gorilla and he must make sure I had it.

Many friends popped round during the day, which was great as it gave an opportunity to explain better why I was getting ready for 26 miles of fur and tarmac.

By the end of the day we headed back to Lush, and we discovered that all 72 testers, and 11 pots  of 'Charity Pot' had already been sold that day - and there was still about an hour to go. This meant the event had raised about £212 for the gorillas - which was absolutely fantastic.

I'll catch up with them tomorrow to find out the final total was and  to collect a small blue gorilla who kept guard in the shop during the day.

Thanks everyone in Festival Place and Lush for all the help yesterday - it was really well appreciated.

My feet ache ...

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