The Elephant Sanctuary would like to thank our neighbors in Erwin, Tennessee for their contribution and support of The Sanctuary’s mission to provide home, herd, rest, refuge, and individualized care to captive elephants.
The R.I.S.E. Initiative, a group of young professionals in Erwin, Tennessee, hosted the Erwin Elephant Revival August 19–27, a ten-day community festival honoring the memory of Mary, the elephant hanged in Erwin 100 years ago in 1916.
In 2016, the city of Erwin, TN is working to create a new legacy for themselves, affecting meaningful change in the lives of elephants by spreading awareness about the difficulties facing elephants in captivity, and the value of a life at The Sanctuary.
“We are just trying to really give back and turn this whole negative perspective into something positive, and now we have this huge opportunity with The Elephant Sanctuary,” said Rylie Scott, a member of R.I.S.E., which stands for Rejuvenate, Invest, Support, Energize.
In total, The Erwin Elephant Revival raised $6,393 for The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee! Todd Montgomery, The Sanctuary’s Education Coordinator attended the weekend’s events. He was presented with a jumbo check from Community of Erwin and was invited to ride in the Elephant Magic & Proud Mary Glow Parade Saturday night alongside Erwin Mayor Doris Hensley.
“We want Erwin to be known as the town that loves elephants and one of the biggest supporters of the The Elephant Sanctuary. We cannot change what happened 100 years ago, but we do have a choice in how we react to this tragedy, and we choose to create something positive. Everything we are doing is with the purpose of raising funds so that captive elephants can have a better home. My hope is that the Erwin Elephant Revival will be an ongoing effort within the community and we can continue to bring love and light to the The Elephant Sanctuary,” said Jamie Rice, another festival organizer. “I think this would make Mary proud.”
The festival’s full schedule of events included a #SEEKMARY Scavenger Hunt; The production of "Mary's Story, 100 Years Later," a play written and performed by the Unicoi County High School Drama Department; an Antique Cars “Trunk Show” and Bluegrass music performance; Low Country Boil Charity Dinner at The Bramble; and the Elephant Magic & Proud Mary Glow Parade, featuring food trucks, street performers, a hula-hoop troop, drum circles, and more!