Saturday, August 15, 2009

Golfing for Kenyan Elephants

A golf outing and dinner is planned for 22 August at the Trophy Club in Lebanon benefitting the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi, Kenya. It's hosted by U.S. Friends of the trust and chaired by Janice Smith, a Master of Social Work student at the Indiana University School of Social Work at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis. Smith serves as the director of donor relations for the U.S. Friends as well as being a full-time MSW student.

U.S. Friends is an American-based nonprofit dedicated to providing financial and technical support to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, a Kenyan wildlife conservation organization. The organization has worked for more than 40 years to rescue, rehabilitate and reintroduce orphaned elephants, rhinos and virtually all wildlife.

According to the School of Social Work, Smith’s interest in the animal preservation organization came about in 2003 after traveling to Kenya with her husband, Stephen Smith, and son Nick, to visit Marty and Sue Moore of the Moore Foundation. The Moores were teaching at the Staerhe School in Nairobi at the time and the Smiths were supporting a student at the school.

They were introduced to Daphne Sheldrick, who founded the Sheldrick Trust in honor of her late husband, the conservationist and naturalist, David Sheldrick. He was the founder warden of Tsavo East National Park in Kenya from 1948 until the mid-1970s.

At the time, the wildlife trust had no official U.S. link and the Smiths decided to try bring awareness in this country of conservation of wildlife issues that should be important to everyone. Upon returning home to Indianapolis, Stephen, an attorney with the law firm of Krieg DeVault, formed U.S. Friends as a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization in 2004.

The golf outing in Lebanon will be the U.S. Friends' first Indiana fundraiser. For more information, e-mail or call 248:390-8568.


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