Friends of Tusk USA 2012

Friends of Tusk USA

The setting promised to be glamorous, with 360-degree views of the dramatic Manhattan skyline, the food and wine perfect, carefully chosen by one of New York’s best chefs, the guest-list an international mix of both old and new supporters of Tusk. Though perhaps best of all, the inaugural Friends of Tusk USA dinner, scheduled to take place on 1 November at Tribeca Rooftop, was in fact oversubscribed, with tables of eight being turned into tables of ten weeks before the event.

What no one could possibly have predicted, however, was the arrival of Hurricane Sandy. With the original venue left flooded and inaccessible, and sponsors, supporters as well as trustees flying in from as far away as Hong Kong, South Africa and London, we scrambled to find an alternative. And were fortunate The Explorer’s Club, New York’s answer to the Royal Geographical Society, was both available and willing to host the event.

The evening, as it turned out was a great success, with more than 200 people making their way to the Upper East Side in support of Tusk. Hendrik du Toit and his team from Investec Asset Management in London, who generously sponsored the event, proved most steadfast corporate partners, gracious and flexible in the wake of all the last minute changes, from venue to format to programme.

Journalist Bryan Christy, author of the October 2012 National Geographic cover story Ivory Worship, spoke eloquently to a rapt audience about his two-year long investigation into the illegal ivory trade, highlighting the devastating effect it has had on elephant populations across Africa. While Tusk USA’s newest board member, author and filmmaker John Heminway, shared a clip from his upcoming National Geographic film, Battle for the Elephants.

Photographer Nick Brandt, a longstanding supporter of Tusk, kindly donated 12 of his photographs, all but one of which sold on the night. While Brandt’s Ranger With Tusks Of Killed Elephant, one of three live auction lots, sold for $30,000. The other two lots were in aid of the South African Wildlife College and Painted Dog Conservation, both projects Tusk has supported for some years. A specially designed sculpture of a lion, by British artist Tatyana Murray, also sold, as did one of our signature 3650 Gustav Manz designed elephant bracelets.

All in, the event managed to raise in excess of $200,000 for Tusk, a great testament to our sponsor, Investec Asset Management, as well as our many generous and loyal supporters.


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