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Poetic License: ‘Pianos For Primates’

By Staff | May 7, 2019

Joe Pacheco

(Found Poetry Series)

More than 130 guests

dressed in jungle attire

paid $150 each to attend

Pianos for Primates,

a fund-raiser aimed

not at raising funds to teach

chimpanzees Chopin

or baboons Beethoven

but to provide the lemurs

of Jungle Jim’s Gardens

with long overdue recognition and resources

for their endangered brethren on Madagascar,

one of the world’s most endangered places.

After last year’s successful

Pianos for Panthers raised $80,000,

Jungle Jim’s co-owner John Weissmuller

decided pianos would provide the key

for helping wildlife:

“We’ve held lemurs captive in our zoos

for a couple of decades

and we wanted to do something for them.”

World-renowned conductor M. T. Joseph Young

who has performed in such places as

Carnegie Hall, Covent Garden and La Scala

opened his megahouse for the event

that featured an evening of music, food

and Primate Education.

“That’s what they’re here for.” Young said

about his four pianos and other instruments,

“here for people to enjoy, a wonderful way

to celebrate music for a great cause.”

Endangered lemurs were among the guests,

allowing people to get a close look

at the world’s most endangered primates

while they participated in a silent auction

of paintings, photographs, jewelry

and antique barrel organs.

BMW of SW Florida

contributed a two- year car-lease

of the top-rated X5 SUV,

(“Beemers for Lemurs”

was the dealer’s recommended slogan)

for the raffle won by Robert Armstrong,

who donated several primate finger paintings,

water colors and collages

from his famous Endangered Species art collection,

“I really believe in the zoo and what they’re doing.

Some of my best pieces

have been produced in their cages.”

All the money raised will go to

the Madagascar Animal Farm

and Ringtail Rights Groups,

50 zoos and organizations around the world

that pool their resources to help find

suitable foster-care and zoo environments

for the endangered fauna of Madagascar,

80 percent of whom

are found nowhere else on the planet.

Weissmuller plans to have music help

even more wildlife in the future.

“Next year, Tunes for Tigers,”

he beamed with anticipation.