A Ben Lomond-based animal rescue and education organization will celebrate its 20th year with an Aug. 18 fundraiser featuring award-winning wildlife photographer Suzi Eszterhas.
Center for Animal Protection and Education, founded in 1992, rescues domestic animals and finds homes for them through shelters and foster families. It also teaches people about issues involving domesticated animals.
Eszterhas, who has spent 10 years photographing wild animals all around the world — from big cats to chimpanzees in the Ugandan jungle — is a 1998 graduate of University of California, Santa Cruz, and has maintained ties to the area since then.
“I’m very familiar with the whole community,” said Eszterhas, whose home base is now Marin County.
Her photos have been featured on the covers of Time and Smithsonian magazines, among others, and will be available for purchase at the event.
“We’ve known Suzi for many years and always admired her work,” said J.P. Novic, the executive director of C.A.P.E.. “We just thought she would be a really fun person to do the presentation.”
At the event, which will raise money for C.A.P.E.’s veterinary fund, Eszterhas will present a slideshow and lecture highlighting her photography career, which has taken her to exotic and far-distant locales.
“We wanted to do something that would be really fun for the whole community,” Novic said.
She said that Eszterhas’ work specializes in newborn wild creatures, making her photos particularly poignant and in step with the ideals C.A.P.E. espouses.
“She’s very environmentally aware,” Novic said. “She sees (the animals) as sentient beings and part of her work is to protect them.”
The veterinary fund helps C.A.P.E. pay for medical care for sick, injured and elderly animals it helps.
Eszterhas, who volunteered with the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals during her time in Santa Cruz, said the opportunity to participate in C.A.P.E.’s event was not to be missed.
“C.A.P.E. is the most fantastic animal rescue around,” she said. “It’s amazing what they’ve been able to accomplish.”
Because she spends about six months a year overseas photographing wild animals in need of protection, Eszterhas said she thought it was time to help animals closer to home.
“I wanted to do something for domestic animal rescues,” she said. “(C.A.P.E. was) a no-brainer.”
“I like the work they do and I like the people that run it.”
Novic said the fundraiser would include vegan hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction and raffle.
“It’s really an event that’s not to be missed,” she said. “(Eszterhas) will take you to parts of the world you’d probably never see.”
At a glance
What: Lecture by wildlife photographer Suzi Eszterhas
Where: Center for Spiritual Living, 1818 Felt St., in Santa Cruz
When: 6 p.m. Aug. 18, a Saturday
Info: http://photographsbysuzi.eventbrite.com/ or 336-4695
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