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Skunky Scuttlebutt - News From Mephit FurMeet volume 2.

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Skunky Scuttlebutt
The Official Newsletter of Mephit FurMeet 2003!
Volume 2

In this Edition:

"Put a Tiger on Your Table"
Airline Discounts
Dealers Den Updates
LAN Gaming
Registration News
Video Contest
Volunteering
T-Shirt Contest
Hotel Information
Health/Medical Reminders
Charity Auction UpdatesSkunky Scuttlebutt
The Official Newsletter of Mephit FurMeet 2003!
Volume 2


“Put a Tiger on Your Table” and Help Support the Tiger Haven Sanctuary

Mephit FurMeet will once again be helping to raise funds for the Tiger Haven Sanctuary of Roane County, Tennessee by holding a charity auction. In addition, we will be offering for sale the first ever MFM cookbook - with the
proceeds from its sale to benefit Tiger Haven.

Put a Tiger on Your Table will feature recipes by MFM’s staff and attendees, as well as the Furry community in general. In addition, we’ve had some of the fandom’s artists step up and decorate the book.

Tentatively, the book will feature artwork by Ursula Husted, John “The Gneech” Robey, and Oldfreek, as well as a few others.

If you want to contribute a recipe for the book, please contact Tahamaki from the website.

Travel Update

MFM is pleased to announce we have that we have secured an additional discount with Northwest/KLM and Continental Airlines. The discount is as follows:

For the travel period of August 25, 2003 - September 04, 2003

Northwest/KLM
Booked 30+ days prior to MFM  - 10% discount
Booked 0-29 days prior to MFM - 5% discount

Continental/Continental Express or Northwest code share flights
Booked 60+ days prior to MFM - 10% discount
Booked 0-50 days prior to MFM - 5% discount

All advanced purchase and penalty rules apply. Internet bookings are not eligible for discount. Paper tickets issued when the reservation is eligible for E-Tickets is subject to a paper ticket surcharge.

Tickets are non-refundable. Any changes made to the booking must be done prior to the first scheduled flight, otherwise the entire value of the ticket will be forfeited.

To make your reservation, please call Northwest/KLM Meeting Services Desk at 800-328-1111 (M-F 7:30 A.M. to 7:30 P.M. Central Time) and refer to Worldfile NM2CA.

Dealer's Den Update

It's time to open reservations for the dealers room.  Due to increased demand, we've expanded the dealer's room out to 54 tables this year. We currently have sixteen vacant tables in our dealer's room.  Tables are $25 a piece, and must be purchased with a 2003 MFM membership.  Tables are available on a first-come, first-served basis, with a limit of two tables per dealer. 

For more information on the dealers room, including rules and policies, please refer to:

http://www.mephitfurmeet.com/dealer.htm

Please direct your dealers room inquiries to: cuttercoon *at* hotmail.com

MFM 2003 to Feature LAN Gaming

We had such a positive response to the LAN gaming last year that we’re bringing it back. If you want to plug your computer in and engage in a free-for-all-Furry-fragfest, feel free.

Your LAN gaming coordinators this year are Chestnut Stallion and Raczoon.

Don’t Forget to Pre-Reg!

You can save $5 off an attending membership, ensure that you get all of your stuff when you get to Memphis, and help MFM by registering in advance. Pre-Registration is also the only way to be able to pay for your membership with a credit card via Paypal.

More Information on our website.

"I See Furry People…"

What do you get when you mix a camera with furs?  The MFM Furry Video Contest, of course! Just bring your original furry videos to the video room at MFM 2003 and see if you have the cinematic skills to win the Furry Video Contest. 

Group videos or videos involving a theme or story are encouraged, though just about anything furry would make a good video!

The actual date and time of the contest video viewing are yet to be scheduled, but video submissions can be brought to the video room at any time during the Meet before the contest.  Judges will be selected the day of the presentations.  Prizes will be offered for those voted the best videos, so make yours a good one!

Please keep all videos to a maximum 'rating' of PG-13.  And also please keep the content of all videos original and not a copy of someone else's intellectual property.  If the video presenter considers a video to be R rated, or that it contains too much non-original footage, it will be set aside and not eligible to win either the contest or any prizes.  Entries must be on VHS videotape and should not exceed an average runtime of three to four minutes.

We hope to see a lot of original videos at the Meet this year, so get started on yours now... and good luck!

Say, Can You Lend Us a Paw?

Psssst...Wanna see MFM for....FREE?

If the answer is yes, then all you have to do is help us run it! MFM needs volunteers to help with it's many panels, activities, and operations. By working just a few hours over the length of the Meet, you can earn either a roll-over membership for next year's Meet, or, if the Meet has enough extra cash after all is over, you may opt for a refund (so you don't have to sell your new art for gas money!).

The MFM staff will need help with the following: Registration, Security, Dealer's Den set-up and removal, computer room set-up Auction, clean-up, and other NIRTS areas (Need It Right This Second). You don't have to work in one place; you can pick where you'd like to help, providing that there is need.

Oh, did I mention Overtime? You can earn time and a half for helping initial set-up and teardown Thursday and Monday. So, for every 1 hour you work those days, you earn 1.5 hours!

And if you don't work enough hours to make a comped membership, we'll still thank you with something special. But the Fur with the most hours worked will receive a hearty pawshake, a slap on the back, and the Joy of knowing that Staff really appreciated the work. Oh, and something REALLY super spiffy to take home with you too!

Hours and prizes, except the Grunt of the Meet Award (TM) will be determined before the con, but I promise that gophers and help staff will have plenty of time to enjoy the Meet!

Need more information, please send a message to Quasi Skunk!


T-Shirt Contest

Once again, we will be holding a contest to find out whose art will grace the front of the Mephit FurMeet T-Shirts!

If you'd like to pick up the pencil and contribute, here's what you need to know:

T-Shirt art should include the text "Mephit FurMeet" or "MFM," as well as either "7" or "2003".

Entries must be in black and white (grayscale will not be accepted). The content must not exceed a PG rating and must be skunk themed.

T-Shirt contest entries can be emailed to tshirts@mephitfurmeet.net (please include a title for each entry). Email entries should be 800x600 in size at 300dpi.

Should you not have the means to email your entry, you can snail mail it to us at our P.O. Box. The Contest winner will be determined by popular vote of those on the FurMeet mailing list.

The outcome of the vote is final. The deadline for submitting entries to the t-shirt contest will be July 26, 2003, with voting to commence shortly thereafter.

And now, for the beautiful legalese:

By submitting an entry to the Mephit FurMeet T-Shirt contest, you are granting Mephit FurMeet and the Mid South and
Tennessee Anthropomorphic Arts Association (MST3A) an irrevocable, non-exclusive license to use the entry for promotional purposes. The original creators of the work are permitted to use the work in their own portfolios and promotions. Mephit FurMeet and MST3A reserve the right to review all entries and not allow any entry that it deems
inappropriate (i.e.: drug/alcohol references, violent or sexual content, or possible trademark/copyright violations).


Don't Forget Your Room

The special Mephit FurMeet rate is $89 per night for 1-4 people in the room. Rooms are available with one king size bed or 2 double beds and your choice of either smoking or non-smoking. The layout of the hotel is perfect for MFM with the main level being on the 3rd floor of the hotel allowing everyone to be either on the main level or not more than 2 floors up or down. So it makes getting to panels, socializing in the Garden Court (a huge atrium area of the hotel) or fursuiting a breeze.

To confirm your reservation, have the lead name for who the room will be registered in (if you know your roomies, that is great, we will be happy to add their names to the room) contact us with the dates you will be staying and a credit card number to hold the room (nothing will be charged to the card unless the room is canceled less than 24 hours before arrival). All reservations need to be either emailed or called into UNIGLOBE Professional Travel at 800-653-6524. We are trying to coordinate all reservations through one source again this year to make it easy for
everyone. There is no additional charge to book your reservation through the agency.


Health and Medical Stuff

Some useful things to bring from a medical needs standpoint:

Tylenol/Aspirin/Advil - It's a lot cheaper to pick up a $3 bottle of Advil. The hotel gift shop can price this stuff obscenely.

Pepto Bismol - Memphis is known for its good food. Some of this food may not agree with you. For economics, see the reason under Tylenol/Aspirin/Advil.

Insulin/Asthma Inhalers/Any pills taken regularly or for health reasons - It would really suck if you started to suffer an asthma attack and find that you forgot your inhaler. Make sure that you'll have enough to last through the FurMeet - hit the corner drug store in advance.

Pretty much everyone has heard of, or been a victim of "Con Crud." Here are some tips to help prevent it:

Drink plenty of water - There is a tap in your hotel room, and the HorseBrutality Suite will have bottled water in the cooler.

Eat - While it may be economical to try and survive off potato chips for the weekend, it's not good when it comes to warding off the crud. There are several low cost places to nosh near the hotel, not to mention the wonderful breakfast that Café Karina provides during MFM.

Sleep - Okay, you were up late playing CounterStrike or some other game in the LAN gaming area. Get to your room and get some rest. Lack of sleep makes you more susceptible to those nasty cold and flu bugs, and it also delays your reaction time if you're doing things like driving around.

Charity Auction Update

To: Friends of the Tiger
Subject: MFM 2003 Tiger Haven Charity Auction Update.

I would like to thank you in advance for taking the time to read this letter. As you may or may not know, Tiger Haven is a sanctuary and rescue facility for big cats, much like an animal shelter for dogs and house cats - except
that they are a "no kill" facility. They are a privately run, non-profit organization that is dedicated to taking care of big cats that have been abused, confiscated by authorities or abandoned.

Recently, Tiger Haven has rescued over fifty animals from Arkansas, Texas and Kentucky.  Some of these animals were badly malnourished and in need of medical aid.  Several of the big cats are in need of corrective surgery to fix inbreeding related birth defects such as severely crossed eyes, bowlegs and other deformities.

New, permanent enclosures are being built for the animals that will provide a den, covered porch area where they can lounge during rainstorms and pools so the cats can cool down in the summer heat.  These enclosures are made of steel, cinder block buildings and heavy duty fencing materials.  The cost is quite expensive for each cave and varies by animal size.

Care and maintenance of the animals is also a constant battle.  On average, it costs about $1200/month PER ANIMAL to feed them.  If you add in the monthly veterinary costs and other expenses associated with housing these animals, I think you'll get an idea of the finances involved.

Raising money for Tiger Haven has become even more important as last year they won a long and drawn out legal battle against the county that prevented them from taking full advantage of their land. Currently their operation is confined to 11 of the 31 acres of land that they own. The other twenty was not zoned for the housing of big cats.

With the addition of 20 more acres of land for the housing of current and new cats, they will require funds for the clearing of land and building of new enclosures.

Each year, the Mephit FurMeet holds a charity auction to raise money for the Tiger Haven sanctuary. Last year, over $7000 was raised. Although this is a drop in the bucket, the Mephit FurMeet is proud to put this small effort towards helping with the greater whole that is Tiger Haven.

In order for us to raise money at this auction, we require donations of saleable items. These items may be anything from a simple T-shirt or plushy up to practically anything you can desire to donate. Since Tiger Haven is a
501(c)(3) organization, any item you wish to donate will be considered tax deductible.  We are requesting that people who wish to donate multiple items do so as a group if they are of the same time of object.  Plushies, books, art and such will be auctioned off as a single item at the discretion of the auction coordinator.  This change is being made to hopefully reduce the amount of time taken by the auction.

If you are interested in joining us in this year's Charity Auction, then please contact me via our website.

Please keep in mind that, if possible, I will need all donations by August 1, 2003 in order to properly inventory all items in time for the auction. I would like to thank you again for taking the time to read this letter as well as for any donation you wish to make towards the Mephit FurMeet 2003, Tiger Haven Charity Auction.

Sincerely,
Keith Dickinson/Hikaru Katayamma
Auction Coordinator

---------------
Mephit FurMeet is sponsored by the Mid-South and Tennessee Anthropomorphic Arts Association (MST3A). MST3A is a non-profit organization, created to foster and promote the appreciation of anthropomorphic arts, literature, and culture.

On the web: http://www.mephitfurmeet.org
Mailing Address: Mephit FurMeet, P.O. Box 6001, St. Louis, MO 63139-0001

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a Leopard from Tennessee