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Guilderland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, December 4, 2008

Fasulo helps gorillas, lunches with Sigourney Weaver

By Saranac Hale Spencer

GUILDERLAND — Intricately inked cats are raising funds for gorillas.

Wild cats are most frequently requested from patrons of Lisa Fasulo’s Endangered Ink Project, she said, but the local tattoo artist decided to donate the $6,000 that she’s raised so far to The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.

Just about two years ago, in January of 2007, Fasulo began her project with hopes of reaching $25,000 by offering to tattoo the endangered animal of the patron’s choice for $150 — all of which would be donated to charity.

Since people always show off their tattoos, she figured it would be a good way to spread awareness about the extinction of species.  “It’s a neat idea to use tattoos as a platform for a cause,” she said soon after the project’s launch.

In 2008, she began selling raffle tickets for a dollar, offering a chance to win a tattoo from her, to raise money for the cause, Fasulo said.  Next year, she’s considering a raffle for a place in her tattoo school, The Tattoo Learning Center.

About five years ago, Fasulo started teaching people her art in the studio attached to her Altamont home.  In September of 2007, she opened a new school on Curry Road in Rotterdam with the capacity for up to five students and a license from the New York State Board of Education.  Hers is one of two licensed and certified tattoo trade schools in the country, she said.

Fasulo still hopes to reach her $25,000 mark to benefit the Gorilla Fund, which, she said in explaining her decision to give to that organization, needs it more than some of the other endangered animal protection groups.

“It’s a small group of people fighting a really big crisis,” she said of the Gorilla Fund, noting its little office in the back of an Atlanta zoo and its field work in Africa.  “They have a lot of tough issues they face,” she said of workers abroad.  “They risk their lives over there.”

See www.altamontenterprise.com under “archives” for Guilderland on Feb. 15, 2007 for further coverage.

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