Friends of Lewa Dinner
In April Tusk staged another hugely successful Friends of Lewa Dinner raising just under £60,000 for the Conservancy. Held in the historic Guildhall in London, the dinner, sponsored generously by Artemis Investment management, was an opportunity for the friends of Lewa to come together and support the Conservancy.
After an introduction by Simon King, Mike Watson, Lewa’s CEO, gave an impassioned and comprehensive speech about the on-going problem of poaching, which poses such a threat to Lewa’s rhino population.
Guests were then treated to a delicious meal by Party Ingredients, with an African music interlude performed by Kasai Masai. The auction followed, brilliantly led by Charlie Thomas from Bonhams, who persuaded many to put their hands in their pockets for the Conservancy. We would like to thank all of the auction prize donors, in particular Kate Silverton from the BBC whose last minute offer to spend a day in the studios with her raised £9,000.
The first two editions of Camilla Le May’s bronze portrait of Nicky, Lewa Downs’ famous blind rhino calf, led the auction results at the Dinner raising £10,700. Sir David Attenborough became good friends with young Nicky while he was staying on Lewa to film his recent BBC series "Africa". He wrote a letter to accompany this first casting, saying what a delight it was to meet little Nicky and praising Lewa's commitment to ensuring that the rhino leads "a happy and protected life". In the letter he also thanked those who bid on the sculpture, reminding them that they will be “contributing significantly” to the rigorous security needed to protect Nicky’s relatives in the wild from the constant threat of poachers who are pushing the species towards extinction.
This beautiful and lifelike piece was done at Lewa after Camilla stayed with Anna this past winter. All of the funds raised will be used to support equipment and training of Lewa's rhino monitoring teams, a cause dear to Anna’s heart that she discussed with Lewa staff and board members just weeks before her passing.
Camilla has since produced three new sculpture – details of which can be found on her website: