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NARBC Tinley Park Recap 3.18.15

NARBC Tinley Park Recap

WOW! We're unsure what else to say. NARBC Tinley was incredible for many reasons. From amazing animals, to a renewed sense of community, to international speakers, to thousands of attendees, to a record-breaking fundraiser... it was an overwhelming weekend for the herp world. Even if you were not there in person, you should feel proud to be part of this community.

USARK must give a huge thank you to all involved to make this show great, not just for USARK, but for all of us. This includes saying thank you to show promoters Bob Ashley and Brian Potter. Not only did they run another fantastic NARBC, but Brian brought his "A game" to make the NARBC benefit auction the largest fundraiser in herp history.

Also, thank you to all donors who made this event possible. Without donations, there would be no auctions. Without auctions, there may not be USARK to protect your freedom to keep herps as pets.

To kick off the auction, Brian Barczyk from BHB Reptiles addressed the standing room only ballroom. Brian laid out some reality and woke up the audience. USARK President Phil Goss then stepped up and addressed the herp community with updates on the recent FWS injurious listing and other issues. This, of course, included a shout out to Matt Edmonds. Matt epitomizes the passion seen in the majority of herp keepers. While animal rights groups spread their bogus propaganda with a goal to remove ALL herps as pets, we must be ten times louder to educate and spread the truth about the herp community. After Goss handed the microphone over to Brian Potter, it was all systems go.

$113,284! That is the total raised in just one night. We are also pleased to mention that money was raised for the Texas Rattlesnake Festival with donations from Dan Krull, Phil Goss and others.

While the auction itself was another monster, and by far the largest for March NARBC, the $100,000 mark was made possible by a few very generous monetary donations. Early in the auction, Ryan McVeigh presented USARK's Phil Goss a $25,000 check from Zilla. Shortly following this, Todd Goodman from Timberline handed over a matching $25,000 check. This was in addition to the thousands in auction items donated by Timberline. Brian Potter received a phone call from Kevin McCurley to announce a $10,000 check from NERD.

After this, Noah Criswell from the Pacific Northwest Reptile Show committed to a $5,000 donation from PACNWRS. The crowd jumped in and passed around a donation box which brought in another $1,400 to close the auction. It was indeed a whirlwind capped with additional large cash donations from Exotics by Nature, Jason Bailey, SEWER Fest, Ernesto Gutierrez, ECO Wear and others.

Many smaller fundraisers were happening throughout the show. Rachel Wintjen from Happy Gecko Sticky Situation donated stickers which were sold in the USARK booth. Ben and Lynlee sold lanyards in the Renick Reptiles booth to benefit USARK. All of this effort will greatly support USARK's federal lawsuit to remove the interstate transportation ban of constrictor snakes, an unjust and overreaching regulation based upon junk science and abuse of power.

To say the USARK booth was busy would be an understatement. Donnie and Dustin were t-shirt and membership selling machines. Along with this, booth visitors were educated on USARK and recent legislative happenings in our community.

Another huge thank you goes to our volunteers. Without them to collect auctions items, set up the event, collect payments and run the USARK booth, these fundraisers would not happen.

Volunteers: Donnie "Morti" and Michelle "Ldydrgn" Smith, Kristin Deegee, Chad (self-proclaimed best volunteer ever) and Nanette Gaines, Dustin Thompson, Cindy Steinle, Chris and Shayne (The Bug Brothers), Rob Cook, Steve and Tammi Hamm, Russ Gurley, Jason Mathews, Jason Bailey, Sheri Ashley, Adrya Webb and Cindy (auction Vanna)

And now, we will recognize all donors for the auction. Thank you!

$5000+: Timberline, Prehistoric Pets (Jay Brewer)

$2,000+: Marc Bailey Reptiles, RodentPro, Don Wheeler, Bailey & Bailey Reptiles, Burke Reptiles

$1,000+: Zoo Med, LLL Reptile, Sal Daddy, Zilla, In Your Face Exotix, Jackson Henry, Ernesto Gutierez, Chad Metizger, Reptiles by Mack, The Gourmet Rodent, Chi-Town Constrictors, The Boaphile Jeff Ronne, Renick Reptiles

$500+: Nicholas D'Andrea, NoCo Reptiles, Fred & Christy Talbert, Goss Reptiles, Kerry King, Tom Crutchfield, Protean Terrarium, Brad Boa, Bob Futo Reptiles, R&R Boas, Rising Sun, C-Serpents Racks, Psychotic Exotics

$250+: Ton Jones, Eden Bio-Creations, Exclusively Exotics, Albey's Too Cool Reptiles, Exo Terra, RJS Reptiles, Charlie Redman, John Chausmer Reptiles, JMG Reptiles, Reptile Emporium, Magnum Geckos, Dart Frog Connection, Aritonnic, Garrick DeMeyer, Stoked Reptiles, Mathews Reptiles, Black Magic Reptiles, Steve Hamm, Sam Kaca, Kaliope Constrictors, Jake, Brian Potter, Reptile Basics, Danny Garcia, Zick's Meats, Bill & April Zelenski (Wild Bill's Exotics), Exotics by Nature, ECO Publishing, Jeremy Wrede, Hoosier Herp Society

Other donations: Happy Gecko Sticky Situation, Brock Wagner, Russell Pearl, Top Hat Cricket Farm, Chicago Reptile House, Russell Warner, Walter Palmisano, Grossboy Exotics, Reptile Tubs (Eric Erb), Carpe gecko, Supreme Gecko, Bethany Gerstner, Reptile Samurai Japan, Carolina Designer Dragons, JB Exotics, Zdena Straka, The Rep Room, Chad Metzger, Flat Foot reptiles, LightYourReptiles.com, Supreme Gecko, The Stoned Gecko, Glass Box Tropicals, Linda's Gone Buggy, Great Lakes Geckos, SIM Containers, Chicago Exotics, Rufus Darden, Jessica, and Boas, Nadilyn Beato, Neville Burns, Creepy Exotics, Roger Carter, Gorgeous Rhacs, Jag Reptiles, Pangea Reptile

Our apologies if we missed anyone. Please send an email to info@USARK.org and let us know if you donated and were not mentioned.

RAACA now has Over 230 Auctions!

This is the link:

Reptile and Amphibian Charity Auctions (RAACA) is on with their RAACA Response event! The auction runs March 15-22.

Brian Barczyk from BHB Reptiles and AnimalBytes TV donated a pair of 2014 heterozygous Sunset Ball pythons. This pair is valued at $25,000! Thanks, Brian, Lori and BHB! There are over 230 other auctions including artwork, herps, books, supplies, knives, jewelry and more with all proceeds going to USARK.

Get all the details and join the group to bid at www.facebook.com/groups/RAACAUCTIONS/. Thank you, RAACA, Rebecca Clarkson for running this event, and Myke!

Even More RAACA

In addition to the 230+ item RAACA Response event, there will be ongoing auctions to benefit USARK through the new RAACA USARK Auctions at www.facebook.com/groups/1623588901209232/. These auctions will allow donations at any time and not just during scheduled fundraisers.

RAACA USARK Auctions raised over $1,800 during their first week. Thank you, RAACA, Jordan, Tammy, Houssam and all the admins in this group!

Donate to the USARK Legal Defense Fund

Information for making donations online and via check/money order can be found at www.usark.org/reptile-defense-fund-2/. You can make one-time, weekly, monthly or annual donations. You can also include a message that will be posted on the Legal Defense Fund Donor Wall at www.usark.org/usark-announcement/reptile-defense-donor-wall/ for all to see. You can even choose to make your donation or donation amount anonymous. Thanks for your support as we battle FWS to restore the freedoms of the Reptile Nation.

Article written by USARK