SAVE THE CHIMPS NAMES ONE OF ITS CHIMPANZEE ISLANDS
IN HONOR OF LONG-TIME SUPPORTER ELISABETH LAHTI
Naming Recognizes $2.5 Million Gift from
Bohemian Foundation Founder Pat Stryker
Fort Pierce, FL (June 9,
2011) – Save the Chimps,
the world’s largest chimpanzee sanctuary dedicated to
providing permanent sanctuary for the lifelong care of
chimpanzees rescued from research laboratories,
entertainment and the pet trade, today held a special
ceremony announcing a $2.5 million gift from Pat
Stryker, founder of the Bohemian Foundation, and naming
one of its 12 three-acre islands at the sanctuary in
honor of Elisabeth “Betty” Lahti, Ms. Stryker’s mother.
“This is a personal tribute to my mom,” said Ms.
Stryker. “Save the Chimps is one of the many causes that
she supports. Growing up, she taught us to love,
protect and care for all animals. It is a privilege to
make this donation in honor of my mom as a way to
celebrate her philanthropy and how she continues to
model philanthropy for her friends and family.”
Advocating for the care and protection of chimpanzees
runs in the family as Ms. Stryker’s brother, Jon
Stryker, through his Arcus Foundation, is one of the
founders of Save the Chimps, along with Dr. Carole Noon.
“We are deeply moved by this incredibly generous gift,”
said Jen Feuerstein, Save the Chimps Sanctuary Director.
“This gift will allow us to continue to honor our
commitment to the chimpanzees, so many of whom survived
the horrors of life in a laboratory. Walls and bars have
been replaced with spacious islands and blue skies, and
the chimps now roam freely with their chimpanzee
families. Save the Chimps is here to provide for the
chimpanzees’ every need for the rest of their lives. We
are very grateful for Pat’s gift to the sanctuary. It’s
wonderful that she has chosen this opportunity to honor
Betty, who is a long-time supporter and dear friend to
our late founder Dr. Carole Noon.”
ABOUT ELISABETH “BETTY” LAHTI
After growing up in Nanking, China, where her parents
were both educational missionaries, Betty lived in
Syracuse, New York. She graduated with a B.A. in
Sociology from Syracuse University where her parents
also graduated and where her father was a teacher.
Betty worked at Syracuse University until she married
and moved to Michigan. She was an active volunteer in
Kalamazoo and served on many boards as well as working
as a social worker.
Betty moved to Palm City, Florida in 1984 and
immediately became active in the community.
Betty has a keen interest in the arts and literature,
donating time and resources to many local arts and
literature related programs. Betty has also been
involved with Habitat for Humanity, AAUW scholarships
for women, Salvation Army, Palm City Presbyterian Church
and “Center for Captive Chimpanzee Care” in St. Lucie
Betty is a “go-to” person that gives her time and money
to worthy causes and then keeps working to inspire
others to do the same. She is animated, active and
involved and has helped pass the lesson of giving along
to her family and friends. In the words of her favorite
quote, “Those who bring sunshine into the lives of
others cannot keep it from themselves.” - James M.
ABOUT SAVE THE CHIMPS
Save the Chimps was founded in 1997 by Carole Noon,
Ph.D. who was inspired to help chimpanzees after meeting
Dr. Jane Goodall in the early 1980’s. She received her
Ph.D. in biological anthropology from the University of
Florida, specializing in the socialization of captive
chimpanzees. Dr. Noon founded Save the Chimps to
provide permanent sanctuary to chimpanzees being
abandoned by the United States Air Force. The Air Force
rejected her proposal to care for the chimpanzees and
instead gave them to the Coulston Foundation. Dr. Noon
sued the Air Force on behalf of the Coulston
chimpanzees. After a year-long legal struggle, the
lawsuit was settled out of court in Dr. Noon’s favor.
With generous financial support provided by the Arcus
Foundation, 266 chimpanzees were rescued from Coulston.
Today 282 chimpanzees in New Mexico and Florida call
Save the Chimps their home. As the construction of the
“chimp city” in Ft. Pierce, FL continues, eventually all
of the chimpanzees in New Mexico will live there.