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Animal Rights Aruba now barks and bites

Animal Rights Aruba has a new president. Gerry Mans. The man who helped revolutionize the Aruba Gastronomic Association will now be contributing his vast knowledge and experience to Animal Rights Aruba. Gerry took over from his daughter Margie, who established and moved the foundation along nicely over the last few years. As she will be leaving perhaps to go to Holland, dad took over harnessing his energy to the excellent cause.

First step? Recruit top people for the board. The people who answered Garry’s call are all fanatics, in a good way - much-experienced and warm hearted individuals, among them Vice-President, Roy Mezas, also in charge of Public Relations, treasurer Ria Boeleider, 1st Secretary, Olga Rodriguez and 2nd Secretary, Virgilio Kingsale. Fundraising is at the capable hands of Lisa Thomas, and Board Member, Martin Ras, enjoys good connections in Aruba’s various districts.

During their first meeting at La Cabana All Suite Beach Resort they agreed on the Vision Statement for 2003 which reads that ARA is positioned “To provide humanitarian living for all animals on Aruba.” And while they were at it they also agreed on their Mission Statement for the year 2003 which states ARA is out “To get the entire Aruban population involved in the wellbeing of all animals and protecting their rights, which will have a positive impact on tourism on Aruba.”

Gerry Mans, Director of Food & Beverage, at La Cabana All Suite beach Resort is an animal lover, and he hopes to make a difference within a very short time. Among the board’s first moves to further make the organization accessible, a decision to restructure membership fees and corporate donations. “They were too high in the past,” says Gerry, "and we’d like to make them more affordable to the general public.” In the very near future, ARA’s website will be enhanced and the organization is also exploring the possibility of having an office at Royal Plaza, besides establishing a contact person in each and every district-bario of the island. Margie also created a realistic, hard to watch, powerpoint Presentation, on CD, driving home the message that stray dogs and cats suffer in Aruba, for lack of proper laws, and because an affordable neutering program is not yet in place. Gerry would like to show that presentation at all school, make kids more aware of the deplorable situation stay dogs and cats are forced to live in.

Look forward to many positive changes in the near future  . . .

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