"Let's all go to the lobby....Let's all go to the lobby..."
That's right, folks! "Make Mine Chocolate!" is going to the movies! Starting tomorrow - April 22nd - the Make Mine Chocolate! public service announcement (PSA) will be shown at the AMC Theater at Easton in Columbus, Ohio on all 30 screens, before every movie, and on three lobby screens!! Our message that rabbits are not disposable pets or Easter toys will be seen by hundreds, if not thousands, of movie-goers over the next three weeks!
This dream started with the announcement of the movie HOP. We thought it would be wonderful if we could get the PSA shown to coincide with the release of the film. When we investigated what this would take, we found out that our taped copy of the PSA was on old technology. With no way to easily convert it to a useable format, it seemed we were at a standstill.
As I was surfing Facebook one evening, someone suggested it would be great to have the PSA shown on the screens prior to HOP. I mentioned that we had looked into it, but found out our tape would not work in modern equipment. This prompted Toni Greetis of Red Door Animal Shelter in Chicago to press me for details. She said she thought she might be able to get it converted to a digital format, and I gave her the specifics on the tape and the format specifications from AMC. She confirmed that her friend, Rogelio Gazga, co-owner of SPI-tv Media Group, could accomplish the conversion, and I immediately packed the tape off to Chicago! Within days, our tape was converted to an acceptable digital format and ready for upload to AMC's media site. All that was left was to sign the contract and receive upload instructions. And that's where we hit a snag. The contract was signed and faxed on a Friday evening and emails continued to fly over the weekend. With a Monday deadline, Ro attempted to upload the file. The website would not work! In a panic, I called the AMC representative and explained the problem. I begged for an extension to allow us to overnight a CD with the file. The rep said she'd see what she could do, and I waited on pins and needles to hear back. Mid-afternoon, she called with the news that we could send the CD and they would put a rush on it, as the problem had been on their end and not our fault! Whew!! What a relief! Toni and Ro took the CD to FedEx, and we all held our breath.
The following day, I emailed the rep to make sure the CD had been received. She confirmed that it had been, that the file was in the correct format, and that the rush order had been approved. Everything was set. In all of the panic, we seem to have won her over. She wrote that "in my reasoning for the rush I explained about the digidelivery issues but mostly said it was FOR THE BUNNIES!" Now pass the popcorn!
On Friday, April 15, CHRS Educator John Dean appeared on the WSYX6 news at noon to promote "Make Mine Chocolate!" and responsible pet parenting. Helping him share his message was foster bun Charley, who charmed the news anchor and the viewers! Way to go boys!!
Tune in or set your DVR to catch our own John Dean and foster bun, Charley, on the noon news on WSYX 6 this Friday, April 15th! John will be talking about Make Mine Chocolate!, but I suspect Charley will be the real star of the show! We anticipate the segment will likely air around 12:40pm. Thank you John and Charley! We know you'll be great!!
The Columbus House Rabbit Society's MMC Day at Capital Area Humane Society on April 2nd was featured on 10TV's morning news the following day.
I was back out at CAHS today to meet one of the Girl Scouts from yesterday (and her dad) who was the winner of two of our great raffle prizes. She was THRILLED with her baskets!! Overheard as they were walking out the door: "The money you spent on those tickets was REALLY WORTH IT, Dad!" Too cute!!
Thanks to everyone (and everyBUN) who attended the CHRS "Make Mine Chocolate!" Day at the Capital Area Humane Society in Hilliard, OH today!! What a GREAT event!!
The timing was perfect, too, because this morning was orientation for new shelter volunteers and then in the afternoon, the shelter hosted about 60 Girl Scouts (4 to 5 Troops) working on their animal care badges. The girls spend time learning about caring for animals, how the shelter works, and then making toys and treats for the animals. They are accompanied by their moms and troop leaders, and sometimes their whole families. It all added up to a lot of foot traffic coming past our tables! Our volunteers took time with each group of Girl Scouts to talk about the challenges of living with a house rabbit, explain the goals of the "Make Mine Chocolate!" campaign, and to find out what the girls had learned about rabbits in their day at the shelter and answer their questions.
We had lots of winners for our fabulous raffle prizes, gave away lots of info on living with a rabbit, enjoyed sweet baked goodies thanks to our friends from Job's Daughters, and will be featured on the 10tv news at 11:00pm tonight! Plus we raised nearly $700 for the bunnies at CAHS!!!
I'd like to say a HUGE THANK YOU to all the volunteers who made it all possible, and to CAHS for allowing us to set up in their lobby!! GREAT JOB everyone!
Heather Dean was thrilled to do another on-air segment with Louie Free today. The conversation was well-timed with the release of the Universal Pictures movie HOP in theaters today. Rescue groups and animal welfare organizations across the country are joining forces to alert parents not to fall victim to their children's pleas for a pet rabbit after seeing this rabbit-themed movie. Parents are urged to buy their child a chocolate rabbit, or a stuffed toy this Easter-not a live rabbit.
Louie also spoke with Heather about other "Make Mine Chocolate!" activities both locally and nationally. Heather spoke about our featured partnership with Rescue Chocolate and their support of the campaign. Heather mentioned that listeners can keep tabs on the campaign by visiting www.makeminechocolate.org.
Louie has been a supporter of rabbit rescue and "Make Mine Chocolate!" for years and we appreciate his tireless efforts to raise awareness. Please tune in to his radio show online at www.louiefreeshow.com.
The Louie Free Radio Show, based in Youngstown but broadcasting online, is a long-time supporter of the "Make Mine Chocolate!" campaign. Today Heather Dean spoke on the air with Louie for an unprecedented 40 minutes about the importance of doing your research before bringing a rabbit into your home. A chocolate rabbit or stuffed animal are better alternatives as Easter gifts for children. Live rabbits should not be an impulse purchase during Easter, or at anytime. Our website at www.makeminechocolate.org features fun Interactive Bun activities to help your family determine if a rabbit is the right pet for your family.
During the conversation with Louie, Heather brought up concerns about the new movie Hop, in theaters April 1st. The movie depicts the Easter rabbit who causes mischief as a house pet. The concern is that children will see the movie and ask their parents if they can have a pet rabbit because they look like so much fun. Heather pointed out that parents should use this movie as a way to educate their children on the importance of being a responsible pet owner. Heather reminded parents that if children beg for a pet rabbit after seeing the movie, buy them a stuffed animal to put in their Easter basket and explain to them that a pet rabbit needs a lot of care and they are not animals that like to be picked up or carried around. A stuffed animal is a better alternative for young children.
Louie is very passionate about the well-being of rabbits and Heather has a calm demeanor which makes for an interesting conversation! You never know what Louie will say but its nice to know that he strongly supports "Make Mine Chocolate!" and is willing to do whatever he can to help rabbits. Heather plans to talk to him again in a few weeks to further discuss the responsibilities of having a rabbit, and why they should not be an impulse purchase. To listen to the Louie Free Show, please visit www.louiefreeshow.com.
The Easter season is upon us, which means our "Make Mine Chocolate!" campaign is in full swing. We've got a couple of events planned this year to get the word out that rabbits should not be given as Easter gifts.
"Make Mine Chocolate!" Rabbit Day Information Fair and Bake Sale
This event will take place at Capital Area Humane Society on April 2, 2011, 12:00pm to 5:00pm. We will feature the adoptable rabbits at CAHS and CHRS/CAHS volunteers will be on hand to answer all your questions about living with a house rabbit. The event will include raffle prizes and a bake sale. CHRS member Linda Davies has again offered to provide tables full of delicious baked treats prepared by her girls' service group Job's Daughters. Proceeds from this event will go to support the rabbits at the Capital Area Humane Society.
Volunteers to sell advance raffle tickets -- $1 each or $5 for 6 tickets. Volunteers to attend the day of the event to help staff information table, assist with adoptable CAHS rabbits, assist with raffle sales and drawing, assist with bake sale.
Wednesday, March 16th at 7:00pm at Panera Bread on SR 161 at Sawmill Road (behind Barnes & Noble) to pick up raffle tickets and photos of raffle items.
Wilson's Garden Center in Newark, OH on April 17, 2011 - 1:00-4:00pm
Wilson's Garden Center in Newark, Ohio holds an annual Easter event. This year, they are having the Easter Bunny pass out candy to children and have invited us to have an information table and feature an adoptable bunny. They understand we will not be adopting out any rabbits that day and that our focus would be educating people on proper rabbit care. The event takes place indoors with space for our table and a 4x4 pen.
Volunteers to attend the event from set up through tear down, including transportation of the foster bun.
"HOP" is a new animated/live action movie scheduled for release in April 2011. While I'm sure this is a cute movie, I am not thrilled that it will mean more impulse Easter bunnies that will end up at shelters, rescues, abandoned outside or neglected.
Since it's said that the best defense is a good offense, we will need to start early this year with our "Make Mine Chocolate!" message.
Please send POLITE comments to Universal Pictures and ask them to include the "Make Mine Chocolate!" PSA starring Rich Little (available on the MMC website) as part of the distribution, and to link to the MMC website from the movie website.
We'll also be encouraging supporters to contact local theaters showing the movie and ask to post or pass out MMC flyers. You can read more about the movie and view the trailer here:
Happy Easter, folks.