CCF UK was honoured to host a dinner with CCF UK Patrons, Jonathan and Angela Scott, for the launch of the long awaited The Big Cat Man: An Autobiography.
Held at the prestigious May Fair Hotel in London, on a wet November night, over 160 guests gathered from far and wide to hear wildlife celebrity Jonathan Scott celebrate his life with Big Cats whilst Dr Laurie Marker, founder of CCF, took to the stage to share insights about work on and off the field in Namibia and around to world to help save the cheetah.
The fund raising evening, compered by Clive Thomas of Prestige Promotions, saw monies being raised through unique cheetah inspired auction prizes, as well as a cheetah themed raffle.
Before dinner, guests were treated ‘Cheetah Cocktails’, created from Passion fruit juice blended with Edgerton Premium Pink Gin, generously donated for the occasion.
Whilst sipping their cocktails and viewing the stunning cheetah artwork in the hotel’s Atrium, attendees were entertained by Matt Clarke on the piano, playing a piece of original music inspired by the cheetah. Accompanied by a piece of footage of the fastest land animal running in slow motion, Matt’s playing delighted guests with his unique approach. We were told, ‘an exceptional and beautifully appropriate way to begin the evening.’
During dinner, guests listened with great interest to a presentation from Dr. Laurie Marker, Founder of the Cheetah Conservation Fund. She spoke about how pioneering research and conservation work have lead to cheetah numbers doubling in Namibia over the last 26 years.
She also emphasized that despite so much support and positive action the cheetah remains the most endangered big cat in Africa with 6,700 remaining in the wild.
Next, Jonathan Scott took the platform, where he shared stories about how he has lived the life of his dreams among the big cats of the Masai Mara in Kenya.
He and Angie, over the last 40 years have come to know so many of the charismatic predators by documenting every detail of their lives. He shared with us the joy and heartbreak of life in the African bush, including updates on Shakira and her cubs and the story of Toto.
The audience were in awe with Jonathans fascinating stories, accompanied by exquisite photography from the book, delivered in a truly compelling and captivating style. A copy was given to all guests on the night as a way of saying thank you, and signed by both Jonathan and Angie.
We were honoured to have some distinguished guests in the audience, not least HRH Princess Michael of Kent who is a huge cheetah lover. Also in attendance was BBC’s Kate Silverton, who has a long association with conservation and has presented the Big Cat Diary in the past with Jonathan Scott.
Maximillion Rendall performed spellbinding illusions around the tables whilst the audience dined on fine food. He then brvely allowed himself to be auctioned to one lucky guest for a evening of truly magical entertainment.
After the dinner, we had our charity auction and we would like to thank our guests for being so generous in their bidding. As a result of everyone’s generosity, the evening raised around GBP 25,000 for the CCF!
Many thanks go to out to the wider CCF UK team who helped organise the event with the help of Clive Thomas from Prestige Promotion and The May Fair Hotel.
The team is wholly made up of volunteers and this is the first event of this major scale we have organised.
Laurie added, ‘We need to raise £2million a year for the next five years to develop more programmes for the cheetah and it’s habitat for a sustainable future. With help from our impassioned supporters, the tenacious efforts of CCF UK, as well as our global partners, we can, and will make this happen.’
And once again, we are extremely grateful to all our sponsors for their continued support of CCF UK. This event could not have happened without them.
– Aardvark Safaris, in association with CCF for providing an exclusive safari experience in Namibia
– Angela Scott for donating some of her amazing images
– Matt Clarke will compose a truly unique personalised arrangement to be performed by the musician (by negotiation). He will then present the original score, signed and framed as the perfect memento
– Maximillian Rendall, the young and extremely talented magician and illusionist is offering himself for an UNBELIEVABLE performance, lasting an hour, at an event you may be organising or at home to add surprise during a private dinner party. An exceptional occasion can be made even more unique with the amazing Max Rendall
– Jonathan and Angela Scott for offering a personal dining experience with them
– Karen Laurence Rowe for donating her Spots on gold watercolour painting
– Emma Bowring for donating her “Born to be Wild” oil painting
– Wildlife Heritage Foundation for offering an amazing day of discovery with a VIP Tour of the private Big Cat Sanctuary for four guests
– Nick Rendall for donating his “Cheeky Spot” fine art glyceé print