2014 Captain Planet Foundation Gala

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My Rocket21 / Captain Planet Foundation adventure began at 4am Friday morning so I could catch my flight to Atlanta. Shortly after I got situated in my hotel room I headed to CNN to watch the private taping of interviews with Larry King, Dr. Marshall Shepherd, Carter and Olivia Ries, and Dr. Jane Goodall by environmental reporter, Natalie Allen.

After the interviews were recorded the four Rocket21 members were able to have one on one time with all of the interviewees. They asked each of us what our winning submissions were to the contest. It was so interesting to hear Dr. Jane Goodall’s take on my idea to use social media. She quickly pointed out that not everyone has access to social media and that I needed to consider reaching the people closest to the endangered species. She also said we need to focus on poverty in the areas that the animals inhabit because much of the killing of endangered species happens

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because it is a way for the impoverished to make money. Being able to talk with these eco warriors was so inspiring and I can’t imagine a better experience. This being said I must tell you that it is our responsibility to take care of this planet. Everything we do from recycling to choosing the clothes you purchase makes a difference on our planet. It’s easy to think that you can’t make a difference because you're just one person, but what we must remember is that change begins with one person. I challenge you to find a way, however small, to help our planet today.

The Captain Planet Foundation Gala began at 6pm. The event was held at the Intercontinental Hotel in Buckhead and was filled with very interesting people. Steven Jackson, running back for the Atlanta Falcons walked in and I was introduced to him. He is a strong supporter for the CP Foundation and donated a Super Bowl experience and a signed jersey to be auctioned off. Other celebrities were ushered in and photographed on the green carpet by many different media outlets: Ted Turner, Dr. Goodall, Dr. Shepard, Carter and Olivia Ries, Jane Fonda, Larry King, and Natalie Allen among many others. The gala included awards to Carter and Olivia Ries, founders of One More Generation, Dr. Marshall Shepard, Director of University of Georgia’s Atmospheric Sciences Program and Dr. Jane Goodall, Primatologist. Each of the awardees shared their passion for making a difference in the world and talked a lot about how our generation seems to have a better

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understanding of the importance of repairing our planet. The evening was filled with laughter; serious issues and an incredible amount of passion that made you feel inspired to work toward a better future. I was lucky enough to speak with Dr. Goodall again after the gala and express how much it means to me that she has such faith in our generation. Monday morning I will get to hear her speak again before returning back to STL ready to do my part in changing the world.

It is now Saturday night and the adventures haven't stopped! I toured the Coca Cola Museum, seeing everything from the history of Coca-Cola to the smallest bottling plant, to tasting lots of coke products from around the world. Next was a great lunch at Fat Matt’s Rib Shack listening to blues music. Then I was onto the Atlanta Zoo and watching four one year old lion cubs play tirelessly in their enclosure. Finally ending the evening ice skating in Centennial Olympic Park!

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