Streaking for Tigers
23 August 2013, by David Simons
15th August, 5:30am. The alarm rings, and I get up to get ready to go to work. It doesn’t normally take me that long to get ready, but that day was a special day. That was the day that I had permission to work on my client’s site painted entirely as a tiger.
There are only 300 Sumatran Tigers left in the wild, which is a shocking state of affairs. ZSL, who run London Zoo, were hosting an event to raise publicity and funds to do something about it.
The event? Streak for Tigers.
One person for each Sumatran tiger left in the world would jog around the zoo after-hours, baring all. Each of the runners would have ears, (optionally) a mask, a pair of shoes and, well… that’s it. With little else to protect my modesty, any preconceptions about dignity went out the window and the body paint came in. Hence the painted programming. (Our client thought that nudity would be pushing it too far).
The response has taken me totally by surprise – I’ve already raised over £600 and some pledges are still coming in! (Shameless plug: donations are open until November at my JustGiving Page.)
More than that, though is the publicity. The extreme nature of the event meant I was expected some attention. However, I woke up the morning after with messages telling me my face was leading images on Fox News, Australian News and The Daily Mail. I’m glad I let my Dad know in advance, otherwise his evening commute would’ve been dramatically altered by my painted face staring back at him from the pages of the Evening Standard!
I’d really like to thank Softwire for being great sports about this — letting me disgrace myself so readily; and also the generous support their charity schemes have given. I’d also like to thank each and every one of you who donated time, expense or effort to help me out.
For those looking for advice as to how to make a successful charity campaign, I’ll throw over to one of my colleague’s comment on this event: “The secret to good fundraising is to do something so crazy no-one’s got bored of sponsoring it yet. “