In My Own Backyard


It always amazes me all the stuff that goes on in my own community that somehow I don’t know anything about until the very last minute.  Perhaps it is because I am not that good about reading the local newspaper.  This weekend was a good example. Lobster Fest, Highland Games and The Elephant Parade all happening this weekend.  Any of these things sounded like a lot of fun, but it was the Elephant Parade that I was interested in.

I heard about the elephnt parade some time ago, but the extent of my knowledge was that artists would be decorating elephants and they would be on display somewhere Dana Point at sometime.  Tom mentioned the other day something about the elephants and we should go see them, but I was only half listening so the details were lost upon me.  This morning while I was walking, for reasons unknown, the  elephant thing flashed in my mind.  When we went out to lunch, I noticed a copy of the Dana Point News and the front page read “Elephants on Parade”.  It was fate – we needed to go see the elephants!

Dutch businessman Marc Spits founded the Asian Elephant Foundation after seeing a baby elephant, Mosha, at the elephant hospital in Thailand in 2006.   Mosha had part of her  leg blown off after stepping on a land mine and was the first  baby elephant fitted with a prosthetic limb.  The experience so moved Mr. Spits and his son, Mike,  that they launched an effort to raise awareness and money to support the preservation of the endangered Asian Elephants.

The Elephant Parade is the foundation’s major fundraiser and was started seven years ago as a small event featuring paper mache elephants in The Netherlands.  It is now an international art exhibition featuring large elephant statues that are decorated by artists and celebraties.   Through the sale of merchandise and auction of the original art pieces,  the exhibition has raised over $6 million dollars to help support the majestic Asian Elephants and to raise global awareness of issues affecting them.

The exhibition made it’s US debut Friday (August 23, 2013) at Doheney State Beach – walking distance from my house – and the elephants will be in various locations around Dana Point until it closes on November 16, 2013 at Lantern Bay Park in Dana Point.  The elepahnts will then be auctioned off on November 17, 2013 and the proceeds will benefit the foundation. Mosha, in the form of a statue, makes an appearance at every exhibition.

Tom and I went down to the beach to see the elephants and we were not disappointed.  Several of the artists were on site to answer quetions.  Each of the elephants was a beautiful work of art and it didn’t hurt that the weather was perfect.

I am going to try to be more aware of what is going on in my neighborhood from now on!  Who knows what I have been missing.

Find Your Om Balance – Terri