View Full Version : Turtle Island Preserve Fundraiser

2013-11-11, 08:38
Morning y'all! As I mentioned on here some time ago, I'm teaming up with Eustace Conways Turtle Island Preserve to help raise them some funding. I'm selling a particular pair of earrings, made with stone native to the area of TIP. $5 from the sale of each pair will go to Turtle Island Preserve on a monthly basis. (For some reason I canít get a photo up at this time)

You guys are my friends so I can tell you........I'm not actually making any money off of these earrings, but I'm REALLY hoping that this fundraiser is a success! I'm passionate about what they do there. Teaching people to unplug and learn a skill they wouldn't otherwise learn. Learning to truly LIVE in the REAL world, not some cookie cutter plastic world. That, and supporting a past thru hiker!

If it wouldn't be too much to ask, if you could help me get the word out, I'd truly appreciate it. Me and my assistant have worked very long and hard on this project, and now the time is here.

These earrings are now available at www.jewelrybywonder.etsy.com for $10.

Also, I just want to take a moment to say..........Many of you have strongly supported me and my business in these early years. Its gotten to the point where it's basically taken me away from our social functions, but I still appreciate each and every one of you. I don't even have words for my gratitude.

Big Mac
2013-11-11, 20:01
Just shared your FB post with all my friends.

2013-11-11, 21:06
Just shared your FB post with all my friends.

You have friends! :ahhhhh:

2013-11-11, 23:41
Just shared your FB post with all my friends.

Thank you!!!!! It helps!!! It got crazy after it was posted on the Turtle Island Preserve and Eustace Conaway site. We raised $80 today. Long way to go to $1000, but it's a start!!!

Big Mac
2013-11-12, 06:38
You have friends! :ahhhhh:

I'm not sure FB friends count, but I've got a couple others.

Lone Wolf
2013-11-12, 06:49
what exactly is the funding for? he's pretty controversial


2013-11-12, 07:20
Yeah, so are you : ) Not a sheeple, right?

Lone Wolf
2013-11-12, 07:27
Yeah, so are you : ) Not a sheeple, right?

this guy brings in a lot of money to his "farm" from lots of sources. i'm just askin' what he needs funding for

2013-11-12, 09:10
this guy brings in a lot of money to his "farm" from lots of sources. i'm just askin' what he needs funding for

Apparently attorney's fees.

2013-11-12, 10:14
To put it simply, I believe in the mission of Turtle Island. This is a non-profit organization that provides true life skills to those who want to learn them. It provides a natural, productive experience for kids who never knew anything but the city. Whose parents can’t teach them anything but how to ride a desk chair and program an iPhone. The camp that gave me, a city girl, a true appreciation of the outdoors and the knowledge to take care of myself was bullied to close. It was then split off into development. Since then, the Girl Scouts in that region have basically dissolved. The boy scouts have controversy. Does this mean that the entire organization should suffer?? This is an organization run by a man and interns that think in a way I can relate to. Just to live. Not to be tied to modern rules and policies.....to taxes and electric bills……..to do things the way they were done 100 years ago before bullshit codes, bureaucracy, and governmental intrusion became the rule of the land. The bullshit this place has had to deal with goes completely against everything that is taught there,
It's not just Eustace.............nor is it the dribble they spit out on the History Channel
The biggest "controversies" are Turtle Island are this
1. Most recently, after 20 years of operation, during which they had always passed county inspections and followed the rules laid out BY the county........Watauga County got greedy. They see 1000 acres of land that could be split off into McMansion lots and bring in big property tax $$$. If you read farther into all of the inspections and whatnot, it becomes fairly clear that the county was trying to bully him off of his land. This caused Turtle Island to close its gate from October to Jun. No paying visitors.

2. The trespassing charge..........I see as a bullshit neighborhood spat. Hell, maybe I should have been arrested for running onto my neighbors property to get Callie back last week! In Eustaces case, the charges were dismissed for insufficient evidence.

3.Lawsuit........yes, a woman was severely hurt in an accident during a demonstration at Turtle Island. Blinded in one eye. She sued the intern who hurt her for over $400,000 (which I understand to an extent) and then sued the Organization of Turtle Island. This lead to a hefty mortgage on the property. Without out the land, there is no Turtle Island.
I've also looked up and seen that Eustace Conways estimated net worth is $200,000. Not very much when you look at property values and a TV contract. However, that is just him, the man. Not the 501 non-profit that is running there. I have enough business knowledge to know that personal money and business money have to be kept separate.
Basically, they were just allowed to restart operations there this summer. They are just getting some income now.

I will also be completely honest in saying that this fundraiser is a business move on my part. The people who believe in the mission of Turtle Island are very much in my "target market" I'm doing this to feel good, and be able to give to something I believe in(yes, I've donated to them before)...........but I'm no dummy. My website got more hits in the 2 hours after TIP promoted the sale on facebook then I have gotten in the past year, and I've gained more fans on my FB Jewelry by Wonder page. I will be going to the post office today with 20 packages to send out. This is helping me develop a national, internet following. It’s no secret that as quickly as my festival business is gaining momentum, my legs are going straight down the shitter. It's getting harder for me to be on the road. I need to figure out how to work more from home and less at festivals. This could be a jumping off point towards that

So, that's basically what I have to say about that. It's something I believe in. If I was younger and more able, I try to intern at Turtle Island, but since I'm not, I'm doing this. I can’t offer much in the way of volunteering, so I’m trying to use the skills I have to do something mutually beneficial. To do good. Like I said before, after supplies, studio hours, advertising $, etc., I'm not making a dime on the Turtle Earrings.......but it's good for my business and it's good for the people who will benefit from Turtle Island Preserve remaining open.

If you don't care for what I'm doing........that's fine. I truly don't give a shit. I just ask that you please keep it on here. Not only am I very emotionally invested in the project, it's also my income. I'd prefer not to have drama dug up on Facebook.

2013-11-12, 10:22
Great reply Wonder! :adore:

Lone Wolf
2013-11-12, 10:30
why the anger? i just asked in a civilized, calm manner about what you were funding

2013-11-12, 10:37
No anger. I just know that you like to stir the pot, so Just in case, asked the favor that it says here. I'm pretty sure that I answered the question you asked. If it came across as anger, I apologize. This is just something that I'm passionate about.

2013-11-12, 10:41
I shared your site on FB although I'm not so sure if that's worth anything. Pat doesn't wear dangly earrings but she says she's always looking for a good stud. That must be earring talk.:angel:

2013-11-12, 15:29
I applaud what I think is a savvy business decision as well as your altruism to a cause you obviously feel passionately about. I hope you and TIP see the benefits of this effort.

2013-11-12, 16:02
Thanks man! As of right now, we have raised over $200, with a end of month goal of $1000. If there is still demand, I will make another 200 pairs and then retire the design.

2013-11-15, 07:43
Just getting caught up... I'll go share your fb page Wonder.

2013-11-15, 08:14
Thank you, Dixie! Thanks you to all of you who have shared. If it keeps up, we
May raise $500 by the end of the weekend!

2013-11-25, 13:39
:biggrin: DONE!!! :biggrin:

It's been a hell of a couple weeks, but we did it!!! We have paid for one child to attend camp, and then a little extra. Even though it's been a lot of work, it's been a great thing to be a part of! Thank you to all of you who have supported this fundraiser through sharing or purchase. :adore:

2013-11-25, 14:23

2013-12-16, 11:13
Dropped of the donations this weekend:-). http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/12/16/evuhu9yt.jpg

Tipi Walter
2013-12-16, 12:23
I'm one of the guys who "knew Eustace when . . . ." back in the 1980's. I first saw him walk thru the campus of ASU in Boone wearing a big backpack back in the mid '80s. I went to visit and camp by his tipi when it was on Howard's Creek road. I remember dumpster diving with him when he had a motorbike with a plastic milk crate strapped to the back to haul his load. I danced in some powwows with him in Union Grove, NC. I visited Turtle Island in the early '90s and got this pic standing inside one of his preserve tipis---


Most of my friends considered Eustace to be a business man first and foremost, and so my main questions are---

** How exactly did he get the funds to purchase over a thousand acres of prime Watauga county land? I know his father helped but I wonder how much? 50%? 90%?

** How much cash does Eustace get for each television show? These are important numbers.

2013-12-16, 12:34
I know that he got the land in pieces........I watched a DVD last night with some interviews, and when asked about how he got the land, he said living in the Tipi was part of it. As for how much he gets per show......no clue. I don't typically ask folks about wages. I do know that when I was doing some "pre-fundraiser" research, I found somethings saying that his net worth was approx. $200,000. That was after 2 seasons of Mountain Men. What I liked about my visit, was a saw them using food donations, and saw all of the work done on the property. There are also 9 interns living there that are taken care of. I know that the money I raised was put towards the non-profit camp.