By Mary Jo RiceAssociate DirectorInternational Marine Mammal ProjectEarth Island Institute
Ric and team get calls and emails from around the globe from supporters with ideas and initiative to make unique contributions to our Save Japan Dolphins Campaign. While we are always heartened by offerings both big and small, occasionally there is a proposal that simply 'blows us all out of the water.'
One such overture arrived this fall from Norfolk Island. Megan Fitzpatrick, who watches dolphins from her island home tucked in the Pacific between New Zealand and Australia, emailed after viewing The Cove. She was on fire with an idea about how she could make a difference.
Amazingly, she had both funded and manifested the major project seamlessly within weeks of contacting us and getting our enthusiastic go-ahead.
Megan designed graphically compelling, traffic-stopping billboards, that encouraged people to visit our Save Japan Dolphins website to help end the slaughter of dolphins in Japan. She brought her brother Geoff Corlis onboard, who works for oOHmedia in Australia. oOHmedia agreed to donate more than $200,000 of advertising space for billboards in four prime locations in both Sydney and Brisbane. Megan then secured a sponsor, Kerry Douran, owner of Hillcrest Hotel on Norfolk Island, to cover the costs of all art printing and billboard installations.
The billboards were displayed for more than a month this fall. They attracted many new Australian supporters and offers for further publicity for our campaign. Megan wrote, "I am also pleased to advise that oOHmedia has received many phones calls from the public in regards to the billboards—so they are also very happy!"Megan, who describes herself as an "everyday person", has demonstrated that someone with passion and a vision can make an extraordinary contribution.
Ric and our Save Japan Dolphins Team extend heartfelt thanks to Megan, her brother Jeff Corlis and oOHmedia, and sponsor Kerry Douran for their creative collaboration and generosity to benefit the dolphins.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you, like Megan, have a funded project proposal, a public outreach project or a plan to organize a fundraiser. We'll lend support to efforts that forward our Save Japan Dolphins mission.