Tag Archives: fund raising

New Okey’s Promise Project Launched at BlogPaws!

Update: The fund raising campaign for this project has moved to ChipIn. Please check out the Okey’s Promise ChipIn page if you would like to become an Okey’s Promise Keeper.

Despite a slightly abbreviated crowd due to Hurricane Irene, a brand new Okey’s Promise project was launched at BlogPaws in Tyson’s Corner, VA this past Saturday!

Along with youthful blogger/dancer Miah Thornton, I presented about Okey’s Promise at BlogPaws to a courageous and enthusiastic group at the BlogPaws pet bloggers conference. Special thanks go to the Found Animals Foundation for sponsoring the presentation.

Miah very beautifully enacted Okey’s story and the mission of the entire project, and her moving performance was enjoyed by all. During the presentation, I kicked off the new project on Kickstarter, which you can read about here.

After running into difficulties with finding a permanent location for the last mural, I have decided that the new project will be a traveling exhibit. I plan to create many images of survivors – animal and human – that tell the story of resilience and hope, while also bringing home the reality of pet abuse and domestic violence. There will be several pieces that will go together as a whole, and will have numerous options for indoor and outdoor exhibition.

Please contact me if you would like to consider exhibiting the completed piece in your area.

Before the new work can be exhibited, however, it must be funded. I only have a month to raise the funds. Backers for the project will become a part of a special group called “Okey’s Promise Keepers” as well as receive special awards at specific funding levels. I hope you will consider becoming an “Okey’s Promise Keeper”, and encourage others to do the same. No pledge is too small!

There is plenty of information about the Okey’s Promise mission on this website and on the Kickstarter page. Please feel free to contact me if you would like to learn more. The Kickstarter page allows you to embed the video and a widget that links to the page. I would be thrilled if you chose to share about the project on your blog or website!

I said that we presented to a courageous and enthusiastic group at the BlogPaws, because Hurricane Irene did come through our area, and we had some wind and rain. More than anything, fears of closed airports compelled some to leave early to return to their families. Those of us who remained had a bit of frivolity making fun of news reporters by making crazy hurricane videos. Truthfully though, our area was spared any serious weather. We were all thankful for that!

Although I had great fun at BlogPaws meeting new and old friends, I was very happy to return home to Okey and the rest of the crew.

Okey-white-black-rescue-cat-photo
Okey was happy to see me, and I was happy to see her.

By the way, the music in both Okey’s Promise videos is by my good friend Jason Farnham who has graciously given me permission to use it. Please visit his website and his Facebook page if you like it!

BZTAT

Okey gives back – helping out the Greentown cats

Okey white cat drawing
Drawing by Artist BZTAT

It is widely known that Okey, the cat who inspired this blog and the entire Okey’s Promise project, was rescued from a parking lot in downtown Canton, OH. Less known is that the actual rescue took days and was a very delicate process.

I have taken in stray cats many times in my life, but they always found their way to me, so taking them in was easy. Not so with Okey. She was scared and had obviously had bad experiences with humans. My first attempt to grab her left me with numerous scratches and with her becoming doubly wary of me.

I knew I needed help. So I called my friend Jill who runs a small animal rescue Cripple Creek Ferals & Friends. Jill provided me with a live trap and coached me through the process of earning Okey’s trust. It took a few days, but I finally found her in the trap, and brought her inside for a gradual integration with my other cats.

Now, we are a happy family! Okey has become pals with the other cats and has really made our lives very full. She still is timid and skittish at times, showing her continued fear of humans, but when things are on her terms, she is very loving. We are very grateful to Jill for helping make our family complete.

So we have decided to give back to Jill and Cripple Creek Ferals and Friends.

Jill is in the process of rescuing 2 large groups of  cats. The first group was at a home of a couple who simply lost control of their feline population and it grew out of control. Jill and other volunteers began the rescue at the request of family, and in the midst of the rescue, the house caught fire.

The woman was seriously injured in the fire. The man had already been placed in a nursing home and was no longer in the home. (Read local news about the fire and cat rescue.) It appears that the cats that were in the home survived by escaping into the garage that did not burn. Now Cripple Creek Ferals & Friends are tasked with managing, assessing, vetting and finding homes for all these cats. You can follow updates on the cats and learn adopting them at Cripple Creek’s Petfinder page.

I have done a small fundraiser by donating the proceeds of an art auction to Cripple Creek. I also asked my friend Caroline Golon from The Happy Litter Box if she could help getting some litter donated for the cats. Boy did she come through! Caroline contacted the great folks at The World’s Best Cat Litter, and they agreed to donate a month’s supply of litter for 25 cats!

But wait, there’s more!

After receiving some local press for her efforts to rescue the Greentown Cats, Jill was contacted by another person needing help with a completely different colony of feral cats. Jill has agreed to help trap these cats, get them spayed and neutered and then release them where they will be maintained by the woman who contacted her. Each cat’s vetting costs at least $45, so Cripple Creek Could really use some extra resources.

Cripple Creek Ferals & Friends is not a large rescue group, but they are top notch, and I have no doubt that they will find a way to give these cats the best. A Chip-in has been created by the wonderful NipClub folks, who will be featuring them as their charity for tonight’s weekly Twitter “pawty” to raise funds for animal rescue. I have added the Chip-in to the sidebar to the right.

I hope you will consider lending your support to Cripple Creek Ferals and Friends. Every little bit helps. Thanks!

BZTAT

 

 

WE DID IT!!! Okey’s Promise has passed the fund raising goal!!!

Dear Okey’s Promise Keepers:

Thanks to you, the first Okey’s Promise mural in Canton, OH will become a reality! We passed the goal this morning with 3 days to spare!

I cannot tell you how grateful I am to each and every person who pledged to the cause. Whatever the size of your pledge, you are each very special to me, as you have helped to make this crazy dream of mine come to fruition.

I started this project with the idea that I, artist BZTAT, wanted to paint a meaningful mural that somehow made a difference about a serious issue. Somewhere along the line, though, it became something different than that. As the number of backers grew, I began to realize that this is not just an artwork, it is a movement and a cause. I am just the artist. YOU are the passion and life of the project.

I will make a promise to you, and to my little Okey, to meet your passion and enthusiasm with as much creative fervor as I can. I promise to make this project worthy of your investment. I also promise to do everything I can to use the artwork as a catalyst for dialog and change in addressing pet abuse, child abuse and domestic violence. My hope is that you will share that dialog and work towards change in your communities as well.

Although we have met the goal, we can still use more funding for the project. The goal was intentionally set low to ensure that we made at least the minimal benchmark to proceed. Please continue to spread the word for both the awareness of the issues and for continued fund raising purposes.

As I do with all of my artwork, I invite you to join me “in the studio” as I proceed with the project. Please follow me on Twitter (@BZTAT), on Facebook and here at www.okeyspromise.com for my latest creative activity.

Thank you again from the bottom of my heart. You have all touched me very deeply with your support and compassion.

BZTAT

Wanna pledge your support to Okey’s Promise? Every little bit helps! Make your pledge here, and/or grab the widget to put on your website. Thanks for your support!

#NipClub and other fun for Okey’s Promise!

"Niptini" painting by BZTAT

Thanks to everyone who has pledged their support to the Okey’s Promise: Art for a Cause project! You are all very special, and you are helping Okey and I keep our promise to do better for children and creatures. You are Okey’s Promise Keepers!

We have over 60% of our goal, now, and 8 days to get the remaining 40%. Please share your enthusiasm for the cause with others who you think may wish to become an Okey’s Promise Keeper themselves. And if you haven’t pledged yet but want to, now is the time! Here is the link.

Just to have fun, and to raise some pledges and awareness, we are having two parties for Okey this week.

On this Thursday, January 20, we will have a virtual party on Twitter. The Nip Club, a rowdy crowd of animal tweeters, has invited us to join their weekly “pawty” to raise funds for different animal causes. The theme of the pawty is 80’s Rock Pawty so pull out your best 80’s style gear! We will have quizzes with BZTAT artwork and Romeo the Cat “Rescue Mom” magnets and and other surprises. Follow the hashtags #NipClub and #OkeysPromise to join in.

Also, for folks close to Canton, OH, we will have a real live event on Sunday, January 23. We will have a spaghetti dinner at Arcadia Grille at 321 Court Ave. N.W. in downtown Canton from 1pm to 3pm. Cost: whatever you would like to donate to the cause. There will be a 50/50 and other raffles, again with BZTAT artwork as prizes. Be sure to come and join us for lotsa fun! Learn more and sign up to come here on the Facebook event page.

I look forward to seeing you at these events and to enjoying some fun times while we raise support for Okey’s Promise!

A project like this can’t happen without the great support of others. You as Okey’s Promise Keepers are the passion to make it happen. We will get there!

Above is a little drawing that I recently made of Okey. I can’t wait to paint the BIG picture!

BZTAT

Wanna pledge your support to Okey’s Promise? Every little bit helps! Make your pledge here, and/or grab the widget to put on your website. Thanks for your support!