Today is in honor of HOOT! sponsor Poppoff, Inc.
This is the sixth in our series of blog posts celebrating sponsors of the HOOT! 2017 Spring Fling gala.
Poppoff, Inc. is a family-owned concrete contracting business based in Washington, though they work all over the world.
Gay Dorsey, wife to Mike Poppoff, was the first to become aware of the chimpanzee sanctuary. She learned about the chimps when former executive director Sarah read her fashion blog “Not Quite Palm Springs” and decided Jamie should be featured because of her wardrobe of cowboy boots, scarves, and tutus (yes, Jamie used to wear tutus quite a bit – we are happy that her fashion sense has evolved since those days).
Gay had no idea that there were chimpanzee living so close to her Yakima-area home, and when Sarah invited the Poppoff family for a visit, Gay fell in love with the chimpanzees immediately. Her favorite chimp is Missy because she’s fun-loving and friendly.
Gay later served as a dedicated board member for the sanctuary, which she described as being, “an eye-opening, educational opportunity.”
Not long after that initial introduction and visit, the Poppoff’s graciously offered their professional services to help with the construction of the greenhouse “human area” when we converted the chimps’ original outdoor space into a greenhouse.
Here is Matt Poppoff (right), who now helps to run the company, demonstrating his dedication to the sanctuary by working on a cold day:
When Matt first visited the sanctuary he thought it was so cool that there were retired lab chimps in his own “backyard” of Cle Elum, then he gained even greater respect for Jamie because Jaime spit on Matt’s sister Julie during a visit – rising Jamie to the rank of Matt’s favorite chimpanzee of the group (a spot previously held by Burrito because Matt lives with three women and gives props to Burrito for living with six!)
A few years later, Mike (Poppoff Sr.) and Matt arranged for a Poppoff, Inc. crew to install sidewalks at the chimp house. The staff and volunteers were incredibly excited about these sidewalks, and we are still so thankful for them. I personally have been known to go into a zen-like trance when shoveling or sweeping the sidewalks – something that is just not possible when dealing with dirt pathways.
The main purpose of the sidewalks was not so much to bring me personal peace and mindfulness, but to allow us to be able to wheel a stretcher carrying an immobilized chimpanzee from the building to the back of the trailer, where our current veterinary clinic is located. We’ve done this three times now for necessary medical procedures, and the sidewalks have made all of the difference in the world.
When I asked Mike, Gay, and Matt why the have chosen to support the sanctuary and the HOOT! event, this is what they had to say:
Gay: “We love supporting the sanctuary because we know how you & J.B. manage the donations to stretch as far as possible. We know our donations will be wisely and well spent with the well-being of our chimps being the first and only priority, and we are so excited to see the expansion of the sanctuary!”
Matt: “We we always do and it’s an amazing cause even if we cannot attend the event.”
Mike: “You have given these chimps much better lives than they had for decades. It is so neat to see them grow and become much happier at the Sanctuary. This is all because of you and your staff’s unwavering dedication to do what is right for the chimps. I know that every dollar that we donate to CSNW is used wisely and is not wasted on things that are not needed. You guys spend the money you receive very wisely. I don’t know how you do it all with such a small budget. CSNW is not a money crunching machine like many non profits are. And it’s nice that you are soooooo appreciative to every donor that helps. We are very glad to be able to help out.”
And that made me cry a little.
Thank you, Gay, Mike, Matt, Amber, Julie, and everyone at Poppoff, Inc. for all of your past support, including your Chimpanzee Champion level HOOT! 2017 sponsorship. We are over-the-moon grateful for all you’ve done for the sanctuary and the chimpanzees here.
Speaking of HOOT! – there are three items available online for absentee bidding that are part of the auction items available at the gala event next week.
Anyone anywhere can now place their highest bid on these three things right now: