Tampa, FLA. (February 4, 2021) That is the Project, not Brady! Tom will be preparing for the big game with the rest of the Buccaneers!
But — you can still graze on over to ZooTampa at Lowry Park between 1 and 5 pm on Saturday, February 6 on Super Bowl weekend to support Project G.O.A.T. The acronym stands for the Global Offense Against Trafficking.
A total of 55 custom painted goats will be auctioned off at the Athletes/Artists+Causes Gala during Super Bowl 55 Weekend at ZooTampa. Proceeds will go to organizations that help fight human trafficking both locally and globally.
The idea came from Thonotosassa-based businessman and farmer Rob Canton–also the Founder & CEO of Athletes and Causes Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity, focused on getting athletes, coaches and artists to understand their own philanthropic passions and help them leverage their platform and celebrity to positively impact the lives of others.
“My wife Debbie and I rescued seven goats from slaughter back in 2015. The goats live their best lives on our Thonotosassa property, which we named Grady Goat Farm. On March 16, 2017, one of our goats gave birth to a blind, deaf, and charmingly clumsy goat. We named him Grady and he was the inspiration for the Grady Goat Foundation, which hosts goat yoga classes to support multiple children’s charities and provided the initial funding for Project GOAT” said Canton.
Back in 2019, Canton discovered an article by Bill Gates pondering the question, “Can Goats Empower Women?” In the article, Gates describes how goats are already empowering women in the poorest parts of India, where they serve as an important source of income. Without that income, these women are vulnerable to fraudulent job offers traffickers often use to recruit their victims. Now, instead of becoming victims of forced labor or sex, women are gaining financial independence raising, caring for, and selling goats.
According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, the number of human trafficking cases in the U.S. doubled between 2015 and2018. The hotline identified 10,949 human trafficking cases in 2018; 767 of which were in Florida. Unfortunately, the sunshine state has consistently ranked third in the nation for number of calls to the hotline. More than anything, the Cantons hope auction results over Super Bowl weekend will help fund and raise awareness for human trafficking.
The Cantons started with a single goat statue to test the design concept and worked with Tampa-based artist Frankie Gonzalez who painted the original goat sculpture with all 16 Astros 2019 Hall of Fame inductees ahead of the Astros Hall of Fame weekend. When the piece fetched $15,000 at auction, the couple knew they were onto something big.
Next, the couple commissioned Philadelphia-based artist Scott Joseph Moore of Moore Art Expressions to cast 55 identical goats. Each of them would be painted by different artists, mostly hailing from Tampa Bay.
Residents across Tampa Bay have seen these curious goats pop up at Tampa International Airport, The Gasparilla Festival of the Arts, International Plaza, the Epicurean Hotel, and other unique locations. Each goat displayed represents an incredible organization dedicated to ending human trafficking.
Canton has already gained significant support from organizations and individuals like Candy DeBartolo (wife of former San Francisco 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr.), Epicurean Hotel, Reeves Import Motor Cars, DDA Development, Coyote Ugly Saloon, Famous Tate Appliance & Bedding Centers, Sun Toyota Collision Center and Yann & Susana Weymouth. Ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 each, sponsors were given the opportunity to give their goats the spotlight in a place of business or other location over the past year. The sponsorship dollars will be credited towards the final auction price.
According to Canton, this Super Bowl weekend gala will be a celebrity-filled outdoor event where not only 55 GOATs, but 150 other works of art from Tampa Bay artists will be sold in a silent auction format to support both artists and charities. The event will not only support the fight against human trafficking, but will showcase the entire family of A+C Foundation Charities, including those of former Yankee/Red Sox Johnny Damon, Buccaneers Receiver Chris Godwin, Houston Astros Pitchers Lance McCullers Jr. and Joe Smith, NBA on TNT Reporter Allie LaForce, Dallas Cowboys Defensive Lineman Eli Ankou, and Pro Cyclist Shayna Powless.
The growing list of celebrities expected to attend Athletes/Artists+Causes include MLB stars Johnny Damon, David “Big Papi” Ortiz, Drew Hutchison, Daniel Norris, and Jose Bautista; musicians Ryan Cabrera and Chris Kirkpatrick; former Chicago Bear Jim McMahon; former NHL right wing Adam Hall; and actors Kristen Renton, Lauren Mahew, and Nick Manning.
About the GOATS
The original goat sculpture was completed by artist Scott Joseph Moore in February 2019. Each goat weighs about 75 lbs., stands 48 inches tall (including the base height) and is a total of 60 inches long. These amazing works of art were meticulously cast by Moore in a compound called “Forton” (in the industry, Forton is often referred to as “Cast Stone”). This product has properties that are highly desirable for this type of project and was developed for use in the architectural industry for exterior building embellishment (columns, balustrades, etc.). In other words, most of our GOATs may be displayed equally well indoors, on a covered deck, or even in a garden. More information on Project GOAT may be found at www.peacelovegoats.org. The art auction is currently live and will be through the end of the event at https://projectgoat.givesmart.com.
For more information on tickets and the event, visit: https://www.peacelovegoats.org/events