McKee and Save the Chimps to host A Celebration of Sanctuary

VERO BEACH — Ten years ago, the mission to preserve nature and restore natural habitats on the Treasure Coast took two giant steps forward.  In 2001, the former McKee Jungle Gardens re-opened as McKee Botanical Garden in Vero Beach, and Save the Chimps welcomed the first chimpanzees to its new sanctuary in Fort Pierce.  In honor of this dual milestone, the two organizations will present A Celebration of Sanctuary on Saturday, February 26 at 6:30 p.m. at McKee Botanical Garden. Many of Save the Chimps’ first rescues were alumni of NASA’s primate spaceflight program, which also will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of its first flight in 2011.  In recognition of the contributions made by these ‘Space Chimps,’ A Celebration of Sanctuary will feature appearances by NASA astronauts Scott Carpenter, Robert Crippen and Al Worden; the showing of a replica Mercury space capsule; a personal televised message by renowned chimpanzee scientist Jane Goodall and a silent auction featuring artwork by Save the Chimps’ chimpanzees.

“We’re delighted to be collaborating with Save the Chimps for this unique event,” said McKee Botanical Garden Executive Director Christine Hobart.  “The supporters of both our organizations have shown extraordinary dedication to the preservation and restoration of natural resources, and we look forward to celebrating many more milestones with them.”

Reservations are required to attend A Celebration of Sanctuary and start at $150.  All funds raised will benefit McKee Botanical Garden and Save the Chimps.

Call 772-794-0601 for reservations or additional information.

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