The Lou Holtz/Upper Ohio Valley Hall of Fame – inspired by the exceptional display of compassion and humanity that has, over a period of years, grown to become the For-ever Safe Farm animal sanctuary in Salem, Ohio – has chosen Rob and Karrin Campf as the winners of the 2012 “Do Right” Award.
After caring for a huge variety of animals on their property at their own expense for many years, the Campfs last year decided to open the farm to the public and file for charitable organization status in order to raise funds to create an accredited chimpanzee sanctuary. They offer guided tours where guests can interact with rescued animals, each with a unique, touching story, and they also offer educational classes for students in grades 1 through 12. The chimpanzee facility, which will be only the 11th such safe haven in the United States, will cost an estimated $1.3 million to open and will provide lifetime homes for approximately a dozen chimps.
Chimpanzees, which share 98.6% of our DNA, are subjected to some of the most inhumane treatment imaginable at the hands of humans. Some of the chimps that will find a home in the sanctuary will come from lab settings where they have been caged for as many as 20 years and subjected to invasive experimental procedures and others may be those who had been kept as pets but eventually became unwanted, neglected or abused.
The Forever Farm is a family project, and the Campfs family is a further testament to their generosity of spirit and global thinking. Their four daughters were adopted from Venezuela, China and Kazakhstan.
The animals they have taken in include camels, pigs, deer, goats, llamas, wallabies, raccoons, parrots, cats, dogs, coatimundi, alpacas, ponies, an elk, a donkey, and a zebra. To find out more about the Campfs, their animal education center and their plans for a chimpanzee sanctuary, go to www.foreversafefarm.org.
“It’s rare to find examples of folks who do the right thing for the simple sake of doing so. These are usually people to whom it would never occur to do anything else,” said Hall of Fame Director Robin Webster. “It isn’t always the easiest course of action but it is often the most rewarding, and it certainly sets a glowing example for others.”