THANK YOU to all the MMC supporters and Partners who helped make this year's campaign bigger and better than ever! You shared some fantastic ideas for reaching your local audience, you put on some wildly creative events, you really raised your voices for rabbits everywhere!!
MMC got some GREAT media coverage - from small local papers to national news outlets! We so greatly appreciate our returning Partners and supporters, and are THRILLED to welcome several new Partners into the fold. This year saw the addition of our first Partner from Australia, making MMC a truly GLOBAL campaign!
The strength of Make Mine Chocolate! - and the reason it works - is YOUR participation.
By working together to share a single message, we CAN make a difference in the lives of thousands of rabbits!
Remember Fozzy? He was the first abandoned Easter Bunny of 2011, left by a dumpster in the cold rain on Easter Monday. Luckily, he was spotted by a caring neighbor, who immediately called a friend for help. That friend indeed was Erin, who is a volunteer at Red Door, a no-kill shelter in Chicago.
"When I got there, the poor thing was shivering from being out in the cold rain for hours. I immediately wrapped him in my coat and put his cage in the car. I turned the heater on high and sat him in my lap for the ride home. By the time we got home, he was warmed up, but obviously still shaken up by the events of the day. I wrapped him in a blanket and turned on the wedding music CD I had been listening to earlier. As it turns out, he loves classical music and immediately perked up and began to relax."
Red Door has been kind enough to share an update on his life since last Easter. Read on: Fozzy's story touched many hearts, and was even featured on the blog of the Make Mine Chocolate campaign.
One of the hearts that Fozzy touched most was Erin's, and she ended up adopting him. "We couldn't help but love this unusually furry rabbit who was loving and friendly to everyone, despite his ordeal ... After a few days, and seeing how sweet he was, there was no way I could let him go, so he became a part of our family."
Fozzy not only has a great home now - he even has a girlfriend! They met while "bunny-dating" at Red Door. "Tulle was very sweet to him when they first met, and he was obviously very nervous. He kept stamping his feet and running away."
They are like a typical married couple. He is a total slob, and she tries to express her disgust by grunting at him. When it appears that he isn't listening to her, she gives him a little nip on the rear end and he minds his P's and Q's for about 15 minutes."
On the Monday after Easter, Facebook exploded with the story of the first abandoned Easter rabbit of 2011. Fortunately, thanks to Erinn and our good friends at Red Door Animal Shelter in Chicago, this sweet bunny will get a loving home just as quickly as the welcome at his first home wore off.
Erinn sent this story of Fozzy's brief time as an Easter bunny.
FOZZY'S STORY It was the day after Easter and I was sitting at home watching TV with my four other bunnies. I had just put another load of laundry in the dryer and was just glad to not be out in the cold and wind. My phone rang, and it was a friend of mine. The day before, on Easter Sunday, she had seen her neighbors take a cage with a bunny inside their house. Twenty four hours later, the bunny was sitting in his cage out by the trash cans on the curb. Knowing that I was a bunny lover and that I was a volunteer for Red Door, my friend called me and asked if I would come rescue the bunny who had obviously worn out his welcome as an Easter gift. Sadly, she could not take him inside her home because of her dogs, so I had to hurry.
When I got there, the poor thing was shivering from being out in the cold rain for hours. I immediately wrapped him in my coat and put his cage in the car. I turned the heater on high and sat him in my lap for the ride home. By the time we got home, he was warmed up, but obviously still shaken up by the events of the day. I wrapped him in a blanket and turned on the wedding music CD I had been listening to earlier. As it turns out, he loves classical music and immediately perked up and began to relax.
A few hours later my fiancé came home from work, and we named the little Harlequin-Lionhead-Lop mix Fozzy. Although we already had four bunnies, we knew this little guy was special and that he was not going anywhere. I took him to Red Door so that he could be checked over and given a clean bill of health. He had his ears cleaned and his fur trimmed. Now he looks like a million dollars and spends his time stealing hearts. Since we are believers in bonding bunnies, as they are very loving creatures, we are considering bringing home a friend for him after he is neutered.
Thankfully, Fozzy's story has a happy ending, and we are very grateful that Erinn was able to get to him in time.
Happy Easter from everyBUN at "Make Mine Chocolate!" Hope your holiday is filled with delight! We'd like to thank each one of our supporters for your ongoing efforts to help the bunnies: one flyer, poster, email, or conversation at a time! However you do it, it all adds up to another great campaign!
For some last-minute Easter reading, we encourage you to visit these sites:
New MMC Partner West Michigan Critter Haven has already had a whole basketful of events this Spring to support the "Make Mine Chocolate!" campaign!
On March 26th, they hosted a table during Kid's Day at Younker's at Rivertown Mall in Grandville, MI. Three foster buns helps staff a booth which displayed the MMC flier. The centerpiece of their table an Easter basket of bunny shaped chocolates and plastic carrots filled with jellybeans. Booth visitors enjoyed the candy while they flipped through a binder of adoptable pets and learned about responsible rabbit ownership.
They held another Make Mine Chocolate educational event on Saturday, April at the Pet Supplies Plus Store in Grandville, MI. The centerpiece of their table was again the MMC flier and a large Easter basket filled with chocolate along with handmade bunny toys demonstrated good alternatives to live rabbits for Easter gifts. They proudly displayed two recent issues of Cats and Dogs magazine which included stories from WMCH telling the true personalities of house rabbits. Kids attending the event were entertained with educational word searches, crossword puzzles and other handouts promoting proper rabbit care and nutrition. A big thanks to fosters Dave and Lisa V. (pictured) who staffed the WMCH table.
When blogger Jennifer Holsman spotted our Partnership with Rescue Chocolate, the makers of fair-trade, vegan chocolate whose proceeds are donated to help animal rescue groups, she felt inspired to resurrect her own dormant website. VaVaVaVegan is where she combines her love of pop culture and fashion and her devotion to animal welfare. She gives commentary on everything from how and where to find animal-friendly accessories and beauty products to tips and tricks on updating your cruelty-free wardrobe! And did I mention she's a bunny-parent to boot? It all adds up to a pretty glam Partnership, and we're happy to have her on board! Now, go make yourself fierce!
F5RS in Northeast Ohio is at it again, with a very active April schedule to promote MMC and responsible rabbit ownership before Easter! Here's a look at what they've got coming up this month:
This Easter Sponsor a Bun and help a rescue/sanctuary bunny. Your sponsorship will help with food, treats and vet care. Sponsor a Bun for Easter will focus on bunny education and why not to buy that cute pet store baby bun. Using Make Mine Chocolate educational materials and our own booklets we hope to make people think before buying. We will have a special sponsor program featuring some of our sanctuary bunnies. When you sponsor a Bun for Easter you get an Easter Bun picture and a gift with your sponsor packet!
Come see our adoptable bunnies! We will have foods, treats, gifts, Make Mine Chocolate raffles baskets and a great tattoo raffle! Bunny educational materials will be available. Bunnies are available to go to new homes May 1st.
Bring your bunny to get pictures with our Easter Bunny! Pictures with pets and kids Saturday 12:00-2:00 & 4:00-6:00, and Sunday 12:00-3:00. $5.00 donation. We will have adoptable bunnies to meet, bunny supplies, our raffle baskets and bunny educational materials. Bunnies are available to go to new homes May 1st.
We will be at Angels for Animals in Canfield, OH with our adoptable bunnies for you to meet, bunny foods, treats and educational materials. 12:00-3:00
If you are in the Youngstown/Warren/Niles area, we encourage you to stop by and support them in their campaign!
We've got an exciting new MMC Partner this year - Rescue Chocolate out of New York City. They specialize in vegan/kosher chocolate and donate their profits to support animal rescue groups. This April, they have designated the House Rabbit Society as the beneficiary. So every chocolate bunny or creme-filled egg you buy will help HRS!
Flavors include Peanut Butter Pit Bull, Pick Me! Pepper, Fosterrific Peppermint, Mission Feral Fig, The Fix, Wild At Heart, and Bow Wow Bon Bons.
Thank you, Rescue Chocolate for supporting Make Mine Chocolate!
Frisky Ferrets, Fuzzies, & Feathered Friends Rescue & Sanctuary (F5RS) is already in the middle of a very busy MMC season! They have several upcoming events, which will get underway by with a TV appearance on March 30!
On April 2-3rd, they will have a large display at the Northeast Ohio Pet Expo at the Eastwood Expo Center, 5555 Youngstown Warren Road, Niles. Hours are Saturday: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. and Sunday: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
April 9-10th will see them at Petco's Adoption Options at the store in Boardman (317 Boardman Poland Road, Boardman, OH 44512). They had a MMC banner made and we hear it looks great! They will have fantastic raffle baskets with donated chocolate, bunnies and more, from Giannios Candy, a beautiful bunny painting, and a tattoo raffle.
The weekend before Easter (April 16-17th), they will have a Pet Pics with the Easter Bunny day! They will be showcasing Compassionate Photography and Make Mine Chocolate by having a BYOB (Bring Your Own Bunny) to have pictures taken with our Easter Bunny.
And finally, they deserve a big "Congratulations" for being the winner of Petfinder.com's contest entitled "How Did You Celebrate Adopt-A-Rescued Rabbit Month?" The contest was held at the end of February to close out "Adopt a Rescued Rabbit Month" nationwide. F5RS shared their winning entry, below:
"How Did You Celebrate Adopt-A-Rescued Rabbit Month? We had a great celebration at Petco for Adopt-A-Rescued Rabbit Month! We Advertised "Meet the Real Housebunnies of F5RS" and combined an adoption day with bunny education. We had bunny wellness checkups, bunny massage classes, an educational children's story featuring our bunny Goodwill Ambassador, Jefe, and Make Mine Chocolate raffle baskets with the chocolate bunnies provided by local candymaker Giannios candy. We had our bunnies set up in play areas to show what a good bunny home area looks like, and lots of handouts of bun information. This was an all day event. Our local newspaper covered our event, (the reporter was obsessed with the bunny massage class) and we had a large article written stressing spay and neuter and health care. We also promoted the month and activities on the Louie Free radio show, and on our websites, newsletter, Facebook, and in our calendar. This was February 12. On the 13, we attended a Valentine event at Petco with the bunnies so people could come and do meet n greets with our bunnies that they saw on Saturday. (We don't do instant adoptions.) Then on the 19, and 20 we attended Petco's Adoption Options Weekend with the same display, raffles, bunny information and some of our buns. We are setting up the same Adopt A Rescued Rabbit month display on February 27. Whew! What a month!
THIS is the RIGHT way to do Easter photos with kids!!! The photos are beautiful, the chocolate (reportedly) was delicious, and everyone is happy! The best part: no REAL bunnies were harmed in the process - though we can't say the same for some of those tasty chocolate ears! Cheri Frost says, "The children loved them and everyone left with with sticky fingers smelling of chocolate...which is a Very Good Thing!"
Thanks again to FRANK FROST PHOTOGRAPHY for supporting Make Mine Chocolate!