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Planet Rehab fundraises for nature

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Justin Mitchell works behind the bar at Planet Rehab’s fourth annual Hoedown fundraiser Saturday. He is the son of Gary Mitchell, the executive director of Planet Rehab, a nonprofit organization in San Dimas, seeks to preserve the environment community education. All proceeds from this event will go to the Planet Rehab Animal Sanctuary. / photo by Meghan Attaway

Justin Mitchell works behind the bar at Planet Rehab’s fourth annual Hoedown fundraiser Saturday. He is the son of Gary Mitchell, the executive director of Planet Rehab, a nonprofit organization in San Dimas, seeks to preserve the environment community education. All proceeds from this event will go to the Planet Rehab Animal Sanctuary. / photo by Meghan Attaway

Megan Sears
Staff Writer

Planet Rehab hosted its fourth annual Hoedown and Halloween fundraiser and introduced the public to its Costa Rica paradise Saturday in San Dimas.

Planet Rehab is a nonprofit organization that brings awareness to the plight of our planet and seeks to make a difference in restoring and protecting our planet’s natural resources.

“Elon Musk is trying to colonize Mars because he said we are rapidly causing an extinction of our own planet, but I’m not ready to go to Mars and give up on planet Earth,” executive director of Planet Rehab Gary Mitchell said.

“I don’t think this should be Gary’s problem, I don’t think this should be Planet Rehab’s problem,” he said. “I think the fact that we as a human species are causing the extinction of 150 to 200 species every day, that is a problem humanity must contend with.”

Within the next three years, Planet Rehab hopes to relocate to Costa Rica and start breeding species at risk of extinction, Mitchell said.

“The goal is to raise money and awareness and send our butts to Costa Rica,” Mitchell said. “Right now we are causing the largest extinctions in the last 65 million years and we have sped up the natural extinction rate 1,000 percent.”

Admission was $15 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. All money raised went toward supporting Planet Rehab.

The fundraiser raised about $900 to support Planet Rehab’s mission.

The night started off with a vegetarian and vegan chili cook-off.

Guests were also treated to apple pie and a create-your-own caramel apple stand.

The vegetarian dinner served as an opportunity to explain why eating a plant-based diet helps our planet and our health, Mitchell said.

More than 300 animals, a haunted house, a face painter and three live bands entertained guests.

Some of the animals included a South African sulcata tortoise, Japanese silky chickens, dwarf Nigerian goats, Chinese red golden pheasants, parakeets, zebra doves, rabbits and an alpaca.

Live entertainment was provided by the bands Americana Caris and Surprise Anomaly, as well as Angelina Baez, a sophomore at the Orange County School of the Arts.

Culture Shock, a volunteer club at Mt. San Antonio College, helped set up and collected money and tickets at the door.

“We have to take care of our Earth, because it’s the only one we have,” Culture Shock club member Carlos Oro said. “We definitely need to be cautious of our environment, we all live in it and we all need to take care of it.”

Planet Rehab’s upcoming events include a holiday event, Christmas benefit and Giving Tuesday.

Mitchell said Planet Rehab’s goal is to raise $2,500 at Giving Tuesday this year.

For more information visit planetrehab.org.

Megan Sears can be reached at megan.sears@laverne.edu.

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