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Oregon Zoo plans day of fundraising for cheetahs

8:28 am PT, Tuesday, Sep 12, 2006

PORTLAND, Oregon – Although the cheetah can outrun all other land animals, its most important race right now is the race for survival. On Sunday, Oct. 15, Oregonians can help these spotted cats by participating in three events at the Oregon Zoo that support the Cheetah Conservation Fund: Run for the Cheetah, Cheetah Camp, and “Big Cat. Big Party.”

Run for the Cheetah

Think you can run as fast as a cheetah? Prove your speed during the second annual Run for the Cheetah on Sunday, Oct. 15. An 8K run/walk begins at 8:30 a.m. and a 5K run/walk follows at 8:45 a.m. The newest addition to Run for the Cheetah — the kids half-mile dash – begins at 8 a.m. All run/walks begin at the Oregon Zoo’s parking lot and take participants through Washington Park. Former Gov. John Kitzhaber, a running enthusiast and the honorary Run for the Cheetah chairperson, will be on hand for the event.

The run is sponsored by Azumano Travel, the Oregon Zoo, Comcast, Java Jacket, REI, Wild Oats Natural Marketplace, KINK-FM, Partners on Demand printing, the Lake Oswego Review, NW Natural and Marriott hotels and resorts.

Register for Run for the Cheetah at www.runforthecheetah.org or call 503-644-6822. Children must be pre-registered by Oct. 12.

Cheetah Camp

Children ages 4-11 are invited to Cheetah Camp at the Oregon Zoo from 9 a.m. to noon on Sunday, Oct. 15. Parents can sign their campers in starting at 8:15 a.m. Campers are divided into age groups and get to visit with world-renowned cheetah expert Laurie Marker and her two education cheetahs, Kamau (a rare King cheetah) and Kgosi (a spotted cheetah). Marker, who began her 30 years of work with cheetahs at Oregon’s Wildlife Safari, has been named one of Time magazine’s “Heroes for the Planet” and is CCF’s founder and executive director.

Tours of the cougar, leopard, tiger and ocelot exhibits are also planned for the children’s zoo adventure. Parents must pre-register their children for the $30 camp by calling 503-226-1561. Space is limited, so reserve a spot early.

Big Cat. Big Party.

For those cool cats who like to party, the CCF’s fourth annual Zoo Cheetah Benefit Dinner and Auction is not to be missed. The event takes place from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 15, at the Oregon Zoo Banquet Center, and features Marker and the cheetahs Kamau and Kgosi for a fun and informative dining experience.

Marker discusses her work in Namibia and other countries to save the wild cheetah, while guests are invited to enjoy a buffet dinner prepared by the zoo’s Executive Chef Paul Warner and bid on many auction items. Tickets are $75 ($60 before Oct. 1). By purchasing $150 tickets ($120 before Oct. 1), partiers may also gain admission to a special patron reception from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

For tickets, call 503-690-3532 or e-mail ccforegon@cheetah.org. Tickets must be purchased by Monday, Oct. 9.

The Cheetah Conservation Fund’s mission is “to ensure the long-term survival of the cheetah and its ecosystem through multi-disciplined and integrated conservation program of research, management and education.”

http://www.medfordnews.com/articles/index.cfm? artOID=332483&cp=10997

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