Monterey goes on a Sabu Safari

Shake family holds fundraiser for Monterey Corps.

by Ted Elisee –

An elephant welcomes guests to the Sabu Safari fundraiser in Monterey, Calif. [Photo by Gaylene Yardley]

Now deceased, Sabu Shake, Sr.’s legacy lives on through his family’s annual “Sabu’s Safari” fundraiser held to benefit The Salvation Army’s Monterey, Calif., corps.

Held under a big top tent at “Wild Things” in Salinas, Calif.—retirement home for former circus animals and animals used in films and entertainment, including the MGM lion—the event with an African theme raised over $116,000 this year. With backdrops of elephants, snakes, Perfume the skunk, and lemurs, the donors were entertained while they dined on lobster, Alaska king crab, and beef tenderloin.

“We are very grateful to have such generous people to support our work,” said Major David Yardley, Monterey corps officer. “While we work hard to reach out to those in need, the Shake family has been there to stand with us and make our job easier. We are very fortunate that their father had such an impact on their lives.”

The safari adventure is the brainchild of the Shake family in honor of their father, a long-time philanthropist who made his name as a restaurant owner on Fisherman’s Wharf in Monterey. Over the years—as Shake became more and more successful—he taught his children to give back to the community.

A liberal donor himself, Shake rubbed shoulders with Mother Teresa and supported her work in India while giving generously to the needs in his own community.

Ten years ago when Shake died, his family established a Christmas memorial account in his name. The proceeds from the fund—usually about $65,000 a year—are donated to support the work of The Salvation Army in Monterey.

On the 10th anniversary of his death, the family added the annual fundraising event to raise additional moneys for outreach to those in need on the peninsula.

Plans are already on the drawing board for next year’s event.

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