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Palm Beach  Society News  Pages 1 
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Save the Chimps

Pat Stryker, Triana Romero (Save the Chimps Dir. Of Communications), Jen Feuerstein (Save the Chimps Sanctuary Director), Elisabeth “Betty” Lahti, Philip Flynn (Save the Chimps Executive Director)

Pat Stryker, Triana Romero (Save the Chimps Dir. Of Communications), Jen Feuerstein (Save the Chimps Sanctuary Director), Elisabeth “Betty” Lahti, Philip Flynn (Save the Chimps Executive Director)
Photo by: Denise Ritchi




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.”



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 County, Florida. 

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. Barrie. 


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.


Joyce Brooks

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