For the first time ever in Miami, the community is coming together to walk against the human negligence of great apes.
Walkers will be able to take part in this historical animal advocacy movement on its first year of inception. They will not only be the voice against the abuse of chimpanzees and orangutans, but will also raise funds for the Center for Great Apes, a 501c nonprofit founded in Miami. The Center for Great Apes is a sanctuary that rescues and gives great apes life of dignity. The Walk will take place on April 29, 2018 at Tropical Park, Miami. In addition to the 5k walk, the event will host a tribute concert to Michael Jackson inspired by his most beloved pet chimpanzee and current resident at the Center, Bubbles.
The event kicks off at 7AM on Sunday. After registration the walkers will enjoy free food and giveaways, a live comedy stage and plenty of photo opportunities at the 25-foot Wall of Apes. Right before the start of the walk, a fitness instructor will lead a warm-up with high energy DJ music that will continue playing until concert start time. The walk through the Tropical Park’s greenery will end at the Center for Great Apes Stage and Exhibition Area. There, walkers can enjoy ape-created original paintings, live presentations by great ape experts, food trucks, interactive exhibition and vendor giveaways.
The Michael Jackson tribute concert, (tickets available to the public and free for 5k participants), will certainly be one of the most memorable components of the Walk. Danny Dash Andrews, world famous Michael Jackson impersonator will be delivering an energetic performance. Mr. Andrews has performed live with Lady Gaga, has been on a national talk show with Latoya Jackson and currently tours around the world paying tribute to the King of Pop. His incredible talent, matched with his seemingly effortless moves, mirrors those of the King of Pop and is jaw dropping. The concert idea came about when Walk director Adam Brand, met Bubbles at the Center for Great Apes. He was very impressed how Michael Jackson’s pet chimpanzee, Bubbles looked so happy and well adjusted to his life at the sanctuary.
Jane Goodall, a British primatologist featured in National Geographic’s documentary and world’s expert on
chimpanzees, is an Honorary Director for the Center for Great Apes. She affirms “sanctuaries will be needed to provide the social and physical environments that these chimpanzees need and deserve.” Jane adds “if we do not do something to help these creatures, we make a mockery of the whole concept of justice.”
The resident apes at the Center for Great Apes all have moving stories. Among them, an orangutan named Kiki spent 20 years of her life in a small cage in a New Jersey basement. A chimpanzee named Ripley, former Hollywood star, saw his brother being shot at an unaccredited zoo as he escaped death himself. An orangutan named Popi, was beaten before every Vegas show she performed in.
According to the ChimpCARE website, there are still over 500 chimps held at biomedical research institutions that will need placement in quality sanctuaries in the future. To accept even 10-15 additional chimpanzees or orangutans, the Center for Great Apes’ current yearly expenses of $1.6 million would grow to over $2 million annually. This is challenging because the Center for Great Apes does not receive any government funding and must rely solely on donations.
Adam Brand director of the Walk comments “our goal is to gather 2,000 members of our community for a great cause. It is our obligation to make things right and fundraising through this Walk will be an important step.”
|Description: 5K Walk and Michael Jackson Tribute Concert|
|Date: Sunday, April 29, 2018|
|Location: Tropical Park,7900 SW 40th St, Miami, FL 33155|
|Time: 9:00 AM (Registration starts at 7AM)|
|Cost: $39 Adults, $34 Students(Concert only: $30)|
|For more info: www.walkfortheapes.org|
|Description: Walk for the Apes Poster Unveiling Party featuring artist Lise Yust|
|Date: Thursday, Mar 1, 2018|
|Location: Frames USA & Art Gallery 6822 SW 40th St, Miami, FL 33155|
|Cost: Free entrance with preregistration ($5 at door)|
|For more info: www.walkfortheapes.org|