By Angela Pattusch
The special screening of “It’s A Potcake Life”, a documentary produced by Evelyn Vaccaro of Vaccaro Creative Productions, New York, was a grand success. The event was held at the Abaco Inn on Elbow Cay May 15th, 2016. With a breathtaking backdrop of the Atlantic rolling across the beaches on one side, and the twinkling harbour lights on the other, the venue was a perfect complement to the launch this special film.
There was standing room only by the time the film commenced. Potcake fans, rescuers and curious guests, gathered from all over the Abacos, as well as other Bahamian islands, to be part of this epic Potcake tale. Young philanthropists like Journey Higgs, aged 10 years, and featured in the film for her endearing dedication to baking and selling cookies to help Potcakes in need, were part of an ‘All Star Potcake Cast.”
Journey and her friend, Meredith Knowles, also designed, printed and sold t-shirts to raise funds for Potcakes. Their slogan was succinct; “I Have What It Takes, To Save Potcakes!”
The film aims to bring viewers on a unique journey thru the timeless towns of the Abacos, to join rescuers on their
mission to help better the lives of Potcakes struggling to survive in paradise. “It’s A Potcake Life” skillfully balances the juxtaposition of the beauty of the Abacos and the vivid truths of the Potcakes that live in the shadows of this striking landscape.
Both Abaco Shelter and the small grassroots team from North Abaco Potcake Rescue were highlighted in the film, as well as the Potcakes that were pulled from the path of peril and set towards incredible futures. Their rescue journeys take them close to home with local adoptions, and to lives in faraway places like Vermont, New York and Toronto.
The film’s success spawned a one-of-a-kind educational program, geared towards the youth of The Bahamas. Teaming with Canadian Royal Potcake Rescue’s “Paw Patrol” program, “It’s A Potcake Life” multi island screening tour launched in June 2016.
The producer returned to the Bahamas to begin this island hopping educative adventure. The program is free to every venue and school in the Bahamas she can reach. The tour combines the movie screening with an inspirational talk, promoting animal kindness and compassion. Evelyn was a hit as she travelled from New York to Nassau and to the Abacos, visiting hundreds of students across both islands.
Included in the tour was Ardastra Gardens in Nassau, where approximately 75 children from First Step Academy attended the screening. Lyford Cay International School also offered a public screening with tickets being sold by a dynamic, young lady; Molly Watson, with proceeds going towards Potcake rescue. In Abaco; Hope Town Primary, Cooper’s Town Primary, SC Bootle High School and Fox Town Primary also were treated to this wonderful presentation.
In the movie, the kids saw true stories unfold, of Potcakes living lonely lives as hopeless outcasts on the edges of people’s awareness, until individuals in the towns joined forces with rescuers to save them. Many of the kids, after witnessing the transformation of these dogs in their new lives of wonder and love, became Potcake advocates and joined the “Paw Patrol” team, promising to make the effort towards kindness, compassion and awareness for the Potcakes that share their world.
One little boy emphatically promised the producer he would share his breakfast left overs with the next Potcake he came across, another pledged to pet his potcake every day when he came home from school, instead of just running by him without a thought. All students were made aware of the basic needs of these dogs for quality of life. Food, water, shade, exercise, protection and affection. The importance of spay and neutering was impressed upon the older kids.
The story “It’s A Potcake Life”, will be told across the globe. But mostly importantly here in The Bahamas, where change begins in the very streets these Potcakes live.
If you would like to view, “It’s A Potcake Life” it is available for rent at https://vimeo.com/ondemand/itsapotcakelife
If you would like to learn more about North Abaco Potcake Rescue or Abaco Shelter please see their facebook pages and Abaco Shelter at www.abacoshelter.org