Where have the GoGoGorillas! gone?
PUBLISHED: 10:02 07 October 2013 | UPDATED: 12:44 07 October 2013
Norwich’s GoGoGorillas! are now off to their new homes after raising an impressive £272,300 at auction.
After the celebrity primates’ summer on the streets of Norwich, the fundraising finale of the project at the Forum in Norwich was packed with drama, and it saw huge funds raised for children’s charity Break and the Born Free Foundation as people dug deep to support the charities and take home a gorilla.
Break patron and auction host Jake Humphrey was among those to successfully bid on Thursday night, buying Lilly Gorilly for £5,800.
Among the auction highlights was the sale of Norwich City-inspired gorilla Mr Carrow for £17,000.
The 500-strong crowd saw Carl Moore, the man who helped bring Darren Huckerby to the football club in 2004/05, outbidding Norwich City chief executive David McNally.
Mr Moore, a huge Norwich City football fan who lives in Lowestoft and works in telecommunications, said: “It’s fantastic. We had a great night out and the Mr Carrow gorilla was the main reason why I went –that was the one I wanted.
“It was also good because the Born Free Foundation and Break are two great causes.”
He described it as “a bit interesting” bidding against Mr McNally for the gorilla.
“He came over at the end and congratulated me and said well done. It was a really nice gesture,” he said.
Mr Moore, 50, said he had been a huge fan of Norwich City since he first watched the club play against Bristol City when he was four years old.
He said Mr Carrow was being delivered on Monday would sit in pride of place in his garden.
“He’s going in the garden amongst the trees, in a lovely spot in the front garden,” he said, adding that he had also bought a second gorilla, Walk on the Wild Side, for £7,800 and that this would also be going in his garden.
Meanwhile, staff at digital content provider Brandbank, in Bowthorpe, are looking forward to three of the primates being delivered to their office after the company bought a trio of the apes including Freddie ‘Radio GoGo’ Gorilla who at £20,000 fetched the highest price of the night.
Brandbank also bought Iron Ape for £3,200 and BatGrill for £6,000.
Brandbank’s events manager Hannah Brown said: “We were the sponsor for Freddie, and all along we knew we wanted to buy him and would do what we could to get him. We were keen to take Freddie home.
“The other two were a bit more spontaneous but they were both ones that staff had said they liked.”
She said the three apes, which were bought with funds raised by staff, would be displayed in their Robberds Way office and Freddie was likely to have pride of place in their reception.
The Ape’d Crusader, the Norwich Evening News and EDP-sponsored gorilla which was based on Superman, is now on display at APR Telecoms in Wymondham after he was bought for £3,900 by the company’s managing director Andy Rackham, who also bought Lumley for £3,100.
Mr Rackham said he picked the Ape’d Crusader because his wife Beverley liked him, while he was a big fan of Lumley.
“I wanted Lumley because the gorilla has got ‘love Norwich’ on it and I’m born and bred in the city and love Norwich, and also because the colour matches some of the colours in my office.”
Mr Rackham said both gorillas were “looking fabulous” in the office after being delivered Friday morning.
“I just think the gorillas are terrific. I am passionate about Norwich and Norfolk, and charities in Norfolk, and it’s lovely that the majority of the money raised from GoGoGorillas! is for a Norfolk charity,” he said, adding that Lumley and The Ape’d Crusader may also go on display at events.
Students from Norwich School’s appeals committee raised funds to sponsor the gorilla Norvic during the GoGoGorillas! trail and pupils in the design department painted the ape.
At the auction the school’s headmaster Steffan Griffiths was thrilled to buy Norvic for £3,600.
“The students raised the money to sponsor the gorilla in the first place and did so well that we were able to use the rest of the money to bid to bring the gorilla back to the school. I am thrilled we have Norvic back,” he said.
Independent financial advisers Almary Green, based in Meridian Business Park, was the sponsor for Juno and the company successfully bought the gorilla with a bid of £7,500.
Carl Lamb, from Almary Green, said: “We commissioned Juno so we wanted to bring him back. As a company we also own a Wenlock, the London 2012 Olympic mascot, and the plan with Juno is to put him on a stand in our office and put a charity donation box by him to raise more money for Break. We want to put Juno to good use to raise more money – if any other organisation wants to use Juno for fundraising activities, we would be happy to hear from them.”
GoGoGorillas! was organised by Break and Wild in Art. The GoGoGorillas! auction on Thursday was run by TW Gaze and was
stage managed by PSE (Production Services Entertainment) and Cog Media.
You can still give to Break by donating £5 to 70070 by texting the word GOGO54 or visiting www.justgiving.com/GoGoGorillas2013