The Next Best Thing to Being in Africa
If variety is the spice of life, Sandra Rosencrans has packed several lifetimes worth of flavor into her 79 years. She has, after all, been an ad copywriter, TV voice-over actress, U.S. Army officer, chief of public affairs for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Mid-Atlantic Region, bed-and-breakfast proprietor, and even a professional stencil artist!
Through it all, a constant theme for “Pennsylvania’s Outstanding Young Woman of 1970” has been her lifelong love of animals, including Africa’s magnificent wildlife.
Perhaps the moment that solidified her passion for Africa came during a visit to Florida’s Dade County Zoo when she was 25. The zoo’s gorilla exhibit included a “cave” that both gorillas and visitors could access, divided by a pane of plexiglass. Sandra wandered into the cave at the same time as a huge gorilla. He walked toward her and put his hand up to the glass. Sandra did the same. They looked at each other for a few minutes. The gorilla then sat down on a bench that spanned either side of the glass. She followed suit. He put his other hand up to the glass and waited to see if she would do the same. Sandra realized they were having a conversation of sorts.
“It was a life-changing moment,” Sandra recalls. “I had always thought that gorillas and other primates were sentient beings, but this was the first time I had an actual experience that proved it.”
Today, Sandra supports several primate organizations, including AWF for more than 30 years. She has also remembered AWF in her will. She explains: “My involvement with AWF feels like the next best thing to being in Africa. And AWF is not just helping wildlife, but also helping people to live sustainably and in harmony with wildlife. It really is a win–win!”
You can follow in Sandra’s footsteps and support AWF with a gift in your will. Contact Jessica Lindenfelser at 202-939-3322 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how you can make preserving Africa’s wildlife part of your legacy.