SARASOTA, Fla., June 4, 2014 – Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary and Bonfire Jam Band have teamed up to offer an afternoon of continuous live music and fun with the animals at Jam Out Hunger. The event will benefit All Faiths Food Bank’s Campaign Against Summer Hunger on Saturday, June 21, 12 to 5 p.m. at the Habitat, 7101 Palmer Blvd., Sarasota. Admission to Big Cat Habitat and the event is free for those who bring a bag of non-perishable grocery items or make a donation to the food bank. Regular admission would be $15 for adults and $7 for children.
In addition to continuous music from the local Bonfire Jam Band and Heather Downie Band, the nationally known Mummers String Band of Philadelphia will be performing, said Kay Rosaire, Big Cat Habitat’s founder and executive director. Kid-friendly games and activities are planned. Attendees also may feed bears and big cats (safely!) along with emus, goats and other animals in the petting zoo on self-guided tours of the Habitat, Rosaire said. Food, confections and beverages are available.
Jam Out Hunger is being organized by Habitat volunteers with Jackie and Ric Stuart of Stuart Home Services, who established the event last year to raise funds to fight summer hunger. Jackie Stuart is a schoolteacher and summer volunteer at All Faiths Food Bank who understands the harsh realities of hunger for school children who don’t receive the benefits of free or reduced-cost meals during the summer, said Ric Stuart, who also is founder of Bonfire Jam Band.
“We are really looking forward to this event,” said All Faiths Food Bank CEO Sandra Frank. “Not only will it help us feed children and families this summer, but it is an exciting way to partner with our friends at Big Cat Habitat, another vital charitable organization in our community.” The Campaign Against Summer Hunger has allowed the Food Bank to expand or implement new summer food assistance programs throughout Sarasota County for students who don’t have access to regular meals during the school break.
Acting as “spokeslion” for the event to let people know it will be a “roaring good time” (yes, we really went there) is Handsome, one of the Habitat’s residents, along with his human companion and teacher Clayton Rosaire. The two are filming a public service announcement for the event produced by Sarasota County Schools’ Education Channel, one of Jam Out Hunger’s sponsors. Other sponsors include Bobcat Disposal, Breathe Easy Air, Inc., The Floor Doctor, Let’s Jump, Victor Mitic, Satchel’s Last Resort, Sentry Protection, and Jenny White, DDS.
More information about the Habitat and its inhabitants, current schedules and yearly memberships are available at www.BigCatHabitat.org or by connecting on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BigCatHabitat or by calling 941-371-6377.
About Big Cat Habitat:
Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary is a nonprofit safe haven for big cats, bears and other animals in need that is supported solely through charitable contributions and admission fees. The sanctuary was founded by Kay Rosaire, who has more than 30 years of experience working with, and caring for, exotic animals and who began rescuing big cats in 1987. Big Cat Habitat provides education to the public to foster appreciation for the animals and to impart the importance of habitat preservation. It is located at 7101 Palmer Blvd., Sarasota, Fla. More information is available at www.BigCatHabitat.org, connecting on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BigCatHabitat or by calling 941-371-6377.
About All Faiths Food Bank
All Faiths Food Bank, recently awarded a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, is a member of Feeding America and the hub of the hunger-relief system in DeSoto and Sarasota counties. Last year, All Faiths Food Bank distributed 7 million pounds of food equating to 5.8 million meals through 195 pantries, soup kitchens, churches, community centers, schools, and programs. Its mission is to feed those in need and educate the community about hunger and nutrition. For more information or to volunteer, call 941-379-6333 or visit www.allfaithsfoodbank.org.