It’s not very often that someone accomplishes things that have
never been done before, dedicates a lifetime to making the world a
better place and consistently makes a difference on a global scale.
Jane Goodall has done all these things and now she is making a
rare Southern California appearance, her first Laguna Beach visit, to
support a cause she feels passionate about.
On Sept. 18 Goodall is coming to Laguna Beach for a benefit to
help raise awareness and support for the Cougar Fund and the Jane
Goodall recently joined the Board of Directors for The Cougar Fund
after learning about the plight of the cougar. Though the animal was
formerly the largest ranging land mammal in the Western Hemisphere,
it is now only found in 14 states in North America.
“I always assumed the cougar was protected across America. And was
shocked to discover this great predator is still hunted across the
majority of its range,” Goodall said.
Her first childhood book was about a cougar and she fell in love
with this animal then.
“We didn’t have TV, we read books, had imagination and went
through the majority of our journey through our imagination,” she
Although she has a tireless schedule traveling 320 days a year to
support ecological and environmental issues, animal rights,
education, conservation and the other important works, Goodall said
she is looking forward to her first visit to Laguna Beach and having
“My spirit is in Laguna beach. In Laguna Beach there’s a new
coalition of people trying to make an impact to the environment,” she
The Cougar Fund was started by Laguna writer and filmmaker Cara
Shea Blessley who is working to help the cougars. She has published a
book with the help of world-renowned wildlife photographer Thomas D.
Mangelsen, and has done a documentary about the grim reality of what
is happing to the mountain lion.
Laguna resident Webb Blessley, who is also part of the Cougar
Fund, instigated Goodall’s appearance and made it a reality.
“An Evening with Jane Goodall,” a presentation, silent auction and
artist exhibitions will be at The Festival of Arts grounds from 7:30
to 9:30 p.m. on Sept. 18. There will be a VIP reception from 9:30 to
Local wildlife artists Julita Jones and Chris Hoy will be
exhibiting with other national wildlife artists during the evening.
Tickets range from $50 to $300 and are all tax deductible. For
tickets, call 1-800-225-2277 or online to www.tickets.com.
For information about the Cougar Fund go online to
www.cougarfund.org or for information about Jane Goodall go online to
* SUZIE HARRISON is a reporter for the Laguna Beach Coastline
Pilot. She may be reached at 494-4321.