Teddy Bear Artists Invitational: One Good Cause Helping Another

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Environmental author takes book tour to collector teddy bear show.

Author Lee Barwood, whose newest book, Klassic Koalas: Ancient Aboriginal Tales in New Retellings raises funds for the Australian Wildlife Hospital, will take her book tour to the Teddy Bear Artists Invitational (TBAI) show in Binghamton, NY in August 16 - 18. The show, which raises funds for the Ross Park Zoo in Binghamton, offers the opportunity for Barwood to reach teddy bear collectors and animal lovers with the message that koalas need help too.

While koalas are not bears, their cuddly forms have chased away night terrors for many children over the years, and teddy bear collectors also love the furry marsupials. And in years past, many of the gifted artists at TBAI have created wonderful interpretations of koalas. "Taking books about koalas to TBAI seems a natural fit," says Barwood, "since supporters of the show contribute generously to the care of animals in their support of the Zoo. Collectors' love of wildlife, and their dedication to the improvement of animals' care, will translate easily into an appreciation of the work of the Australian Wildlife Hospital."

All author and artist royalties from Barwood's new book, from Koala Jo Publishing (http://www.koalajo.com) in San Mateo, California, go to the Australian Wildlife Hospital, founded in memory of the late Steve Irwin's mother Lyn and a major project of Wildlife Warriors Worldwide. The Hospital treats more than 600 koalas each year, in addition to many other indigenous species, and the head veterinarian, Dr. Jon Hanger, has done groundbreaking research in the quest to find solutions to two major threats to the health of the koala population: Chlamydia and retrovirus. Patient profiles will be available for viewing at TBAI, demonstrating the wide range of animals who benefit from the Hospital's work.

TBAI, begun by the late Millie Gage and continuing under the auspices of Cindy Malchoff and a dedicated team of board members, has raised substantial funds for the Ross Park Zoo over the years, enabling habitat upgrades and other benefits to the animals. Teddy bear artists contribute to the Zoo via creations sold on the second night of the show, as well as via an auction of one special piece. Artist participation is by invitation, hence the name. Barwood's book sales at TBAI will also make a contribution to the Zoo, in addition to their primary purpose of supporting the Hospital. Sales of her book, as well as other Koala Jo titles, will provide much-needed funds for the care of animals both here and in Australia.

Barwood is also the author of the Gryphon Award-winning environmental suspense/thriller A Dream of Drowned Hollow, published by Double Dragon Publishing (http://www.double-dragon-ebooks.com).

For more information about Koala Jo Publishing and its titles, go to http://www.koalajo.com. For more information about TBAI, go to http://www.tbai.org. To learn more about author Lee Barwood or to sign up for her environmental newsletter, The Beat of Gaia's Heart, go to http://www.leebarwood.com.

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Marlene Satter
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