New York City based actress and media content director/producer, Evelyn Vaccaro, of Vaccaro Creative Productions, and Wendy Shankin- Cohen, CEO and President of Dr. Harvey’s fine health food and all-natural products for companion animals, teamed up to begin a journey of good will that launched them from NYC to Abaco. What compelled this mission of love was a collection of rather endearing and often unfortunate residents of these islands, the Royal Bahamian Potcake.
Evelyn’s dedication towards these dogs began 24 years ago during a visit to Nassau, where she first came across and fed a skinny street Potcake. Since then she has continued her drive to help them by becoming a rescuer and foster in the US. In her professional field of film and TV, her vision was to bring to light the perils of the street Potcakes of The Bahamas, living a hard life in what many consider paradise.
So began the seed of her Potcake Documentary. As this seed blossomed on social networks, her passion was noticed by Dr. Harvey’s CEO, Wendy Shankin-Cohen. A huge part of their company mission is to support animal rescue and animal welfare. The alignment of these dynamic women, with the Potcakes now in their spotlight, caused an avalanche of altruism towards what became “Project Potcake.”
Dr. Harvey began a GoFundMe fundraiser for Project Potcake, and both Evelyn and Dr. Harvey’s worked hard at networking within their own expansive fan base towards reaching the donation goal. The goal, still ongoing, is to raise funds and awareness for the Bahamian Potcake, and the people that try to help them. The primary focus was on the Potcakes, Abaco Shelter and other rescuers that work in tandem with the shelter to help these dogs, such as North Abaco Potcake Rescue, a team of volunteers that distributes food and care for Potcakes in need throughout the communities from Coopers Town up to Crown Haven.
The beautiful Abacos were chosen for the filming of this documentary. Potcake fans near and far came together to assist with this remarkable event. Pilot/plane owners, Dave and Margaret Williams donated the flight from Florida to Abaco, Treasure Cay resident Helmut Mayerhofer donated accommodations for the film crew. Professional photographer, John Slack, donated his time and expertise to obtain behind the scene shots of the filming. Drexel University donated suitcases full of medical supplies for spay and neuter clinics and for rescuers to use in coordination with the vets they consult. Dr. Harvey’s sent food, treats, supplements and healing grooming aids from their organic product line. Dr. Harvey’s and Evelyn Vaccaro’s supporters, pledged funding.
By the time Wendy and Evelyn touched down on this picturesque island, they were laden with essential supplies donated for Project Potcake.
As the filming began, in the full heat of summer, Evelyn and Wendy walked in the footsteps of rescuers here in Abaco. They followed volunteers at Abaco Shelter in Marsh Harbour on their daily animal care routines and witnessed first-hand the challenges faced by a shelter that operates solely on volunteers and donations. It was clear that the needs of the dogs were endless, but the shelter’s resources were not. The crew then travelled far north with North Abaco Potcake Rescue. The bustling streets of New York were a stark contrast to these timeless fishing towns and the film crew was delighted to meet the eclectic personalities that live there.
During the interviews and interactions, Evelyn and Wendy were touched by the genuine warmth they observed between the rescuers and the people within these towns. They saw how the kindness towards others was contagious within the communities. One Mount Hope resident, Wellington Pinder, explained how as a child, he saw his beloved Potcake get killed by a car, and since then he “closed his heart to them.” Now, after working with the rescuers, and inspired by the passion they have for the dogs, he has grown to love Potcakes once again. Also highlighted in the documentary, is a story of a little Abaco girl by the name of Journey, who makes cookies and lemonade and sits patiently at a stand to earn enough money to buy food for hungry Potcakes.
It is these and more heartwarming narratives, with the shores of Abaco as a stunning backdrop, the authentic Abaconian people, mingled with the famous Bahamian Potcake, that will make this Potcake Documentary reach into the hearts and minds of many.
For more information about Project Potcake or to find out how you can help, please email Dr. Harvey’s Project Potcake at firstname.lastname@example.org