Updated 10/29/2010
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Ribbon Cutting
Ribbon Cutting

Opening Band
Opening Band

Band
Band

Food & Drink
Food & Drink

School Guides
School Guides

Opening Night
Opening Night

Lion & Sable
Lion & Sable

Polar Bear Rug & Mounts
Polar Bear Rug & Mounts

Mounts
Mounts
Mounts

Mounts

Sound System with Ram Mount
Sound System with Ram Mount

Sound System
Sound System

Mural 1
Mural 1

Mural 2
Mural 2

Mural 3
Mural 3

Mural 4
Mural 4

Mural 5
Mural 5

Mural 6
Mural 6

Mural 7
Mural 7

Mural 8
Mural 8



































































































 
To All:
 
Here are a few selected photos from the Northwest Chapter's opening night (9-05-08) ribbon cutting at the School for the blind in Vancouver Washington. The first permanent Sensory Safari in the State and one of only two or three in the Nation. The chapter has worked long and hard to make this happen. Thanks to all that spent many hours and many dollars to get us to this point.
 
This show place will be seen by dozens of organizations and groups in a wide area.
 

Northwest Chapter's Permanent Sensory Safari Opens at the

Washington State School for the Blind

By

 Judge Bill Harrison

 

          Most hunters would be pleased to open a new trophy room 62 feet long by 22 feet wide with 12 foot ceilings, furnished to museum standards, and fitted out with representative full body and shoulder mounts of wildlife from around the world.  The members of the Northwest Chapter of Safari Club International are very pleased to have opened just such a room for the enjoyment of visually impaired children, their parents, families and friends.  That accomplishment became reality on Friday, September 5, 2008 at the Washington State School for the Blind in Vancouver, Washington.

Recalling a long tradition in which hunters have hunted to educate and enrich others, a new permanent wildlife display now stands at the heart of a regional institute dedicated to the education and enrichment of the visually impaired.

It began at the Safari Club International Hunters Convention in Reno in 2001.  Thats when yours truly had a chance conversation with Lloyd Dubuisson of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  Lloyd told me that Safari Club International had recently established a permanent display for the visually impaired, known as a Sensory Safari, at the Louisiana School for the Blind.  Mulling the idea over on the fight back home, I thought, why can't we do that?

Every member of the Northwest Chapter enthusiastically got behind the idea.  Soon we were presenting one-day Sensory Safaris, each year, starting in Seattle.  Next, we made contact with the Washington State School for the Blind, and its Superintendent, Dr. Dean O. Stenehjem.  No one could have been more receptive or insightful about the potential for a permanent wildlife display than Dean.  For each of the years from 2002 through 2008 we presented a one-day Sensory Safari at the School.  For each of those same years, Dean petitioned the Washington Legislature for expanded facilities to include space for a permanent Sensory Safari Room at the School.  During this time there was tremendous generosity from others as well.  Member Ken Nagel suggested to the family of Marty Rathje, of Oregon, that the mounts in Marty's estate would be appreciated in our project.  From there, Marty's collection went on a temporary display in the School Library where it remained for several years.

Our good fortune increased when Inspector Melanie Raymond of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service offered a number of rare and endangered hides and other wildlife items seized as contraband.  This included a huge polar bear rug.  Soon we partnered with Barbara Sheldon of the Washington School for the Blind Foundation to raise needed funds.  Money was needed for stands, tables, table coverings and the sound system that allows each child to plug in a headset to hear the life history of the animal he or she is discovering by touch.  We worked through Eva Wilson of Humanitarian Services at Safari Club International in Tucson to locate mounts, from Indiana to Hawaii, that were donated by members to the display.  These included a life size mount of an African lion attacking a sable.  Pacific Alaska Forwarders, a company owned by Northwest Chapter member Alain Smith, transported these mounts at no charge.  The generosity of the Smith family combined with that of other members of the Northwest Chapter assured the complete success of the permanent display.

     On opening night the Mayor of Vancouver, Washington cut the ribbon to open the display.  There were some 100 invited guests in attendance who enjoyed dinner, live music, and a first look at this impressive permanent Sensory Safari display.  A long time in the making, this display will offer wildlife education and enrichment for a long time to come.      
    
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   


















 

SCINW MISSION STATEMENT
Dedicated to Wildlife Conservation, Education, Humanitarian Efforts and Protecting our Hunting Heritage