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Six-year-old boy raises money for elephants

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Published on Tue, Oct 20, 2009 by BY PAM STEVENS | EDITOR

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After watching an episode of “Oprah”, Curtis Blair, who was five-years-old at the time, decided then and there what he wanted to do for his next birthday, that was to raise money to feed the elephants.

Oprah’s show that day talked about an Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tenn. where rescued circus and zoo elephants can go and live. 

Since 1995, twenty-four elephants have found sanctuary in Hohenwald where they live out their lives with the freedom to roam the natural habitat  provided for them there.

Blair’s mom Jennifer praised him for the generous idea but figured that  the memory of the elephants would soon fade. She was wrong. 

“He has always loved elephants and the story of Tarra and Bella really grabs a hold of the heart strings,” Jennifer said. “He really came up with the idea when he saw on the website that they had 15 elephants (at that time) that have been saved. When he realized that he could help feed them his wheels started to turn.”

That was months ago.  Rather than the idea drifting from his mind, it’s grown larger.  He started with $100 from his own coin bank and to date he’s raised nearly $1,100.

Blair’s birthday was Sept. 9 and he had his party on Sept. 27 at the Forest Park Swim Center.

His birthday party garnered another $200 bringing his total up to $1,300 to feed the elephants


“I’m very proud of him,” Jennifer said. “He told me before his party that one of the children in his class told him he wanted to bring him a toy. He said he told him that he really wanted the money for the elephants so he could feed them. For a six year old, when the whole world seems to be about their toys that is impressive.”

Since the idea came to Curtis his goal has been to feed the elephants for six days which will  cost $2,700.

A friend of the Blair’s has also donated embroidery services and has designed elephant t-shirts for Curtis to sell to help raise the money. $14 of the $15 cost for the t-shirt will go directly to feed the elephants.

“I am excited, happy and proud,” Curtis said.  “A very big thank you from me and the elephants. I know they will be happier.”

The Elephant Sanctuary was founded in 1995 and is the nation’s largest natural habitat refuge developed specifically for endangered African and Asian elephants.

The sanctuary   is 27,000 acres and costs $125,000 annually to provide sanctuary for one elephant.  Their hope is to rescue 100 elephants.

If you would like to buy a t-shirt from Curtis visit

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