Palo Alto, CA – Pericles, or more affectionately known as Perry, is a real donkey who lives at Bol Park in Palo Alto's Barron Park neighborhood and who was the model for Donkey in the Shrek movies. Palo Alto Perry is a stuffed facsimile who was conceived out of the recent city-sponsored For the Love of Palo Alto workshop with guest speaker Peter Kageyama. Peter had become familiar with Perry as a result of attending the Mayor’s State of the City address a few nights earlier. The co-winning team, consisting of City of Palo Alto event planner, Ali Williams and members of Palo Alto Medical Foundation’s linkAges TimeBank, devised the idea of having Palo Alto Perry roam the neighborhoods and landmarks by way of residents to discover all of the lovable parts of Palo Alto on behalf of the real Perry.
Those wishing to be Perry’s ambassador will sign-up on Palo Alto Perry’s Facebook page explaining why they should have the opportunity to show Perry around. A requirement for hosting Perry is to take him to your favorite Palo Alto locations, document his travels with photographs and place lovable notes in his saddlebag for sharing on social media. Palo Alto Perry is gaining followers on Facebook and Twitter hourly, and his sojourn is becoming a topic of interest for the community.
According to Mayor Karen Holman, "Palo Alto Perry is the perfect ambassador to reflect the City of Palo Alto’s community spirit. The real Perry (Pericles) is a very popular 4-legged Palo Alto resident. He brings joy to everyone he meets. What better way to engage with our community and spread joy."
Palo Alto Perry will make his official debut at the 93rd Annual May Fete Children’s Parade this Saturday, May 2 at 10am along University Avenue. Prior to his debut amongst children, Palo Alto Perry will visit the Palo Alto Medical Foundation for vaccinations and a wellness check, followed by a visit to the Palo Alto Animal Shelter for registration and licensing.
Palo Alto Perry has already been invited to become an Energy Ambassador for the Utilities Department and enjoy a Ride-a-Long with the Palo Alto Police Department.
Numerous Palo Alto residents have requested the opportunity to be Palo Alto Perry’s ambassador and take him to their favorite places including the Addison Elementary School performance at the Giant’s Game June 1st; linkAges TimeBank Tales event in Bol Park (with the real Perry and his donkey friend Niner); Neighborhood block parties, classroom attendance and take an art collage class at the Palo Alto Art Center. People of all ages are thrilled to participate from preschool to the local Senior Center, Avenidas. Everyone is excited to get involved and show Palo Alto Perry his or her favorite location.
According to Ali Williams, Palo Alto Perry’s handler “Not only will Palo Alto Perry be a joyful project for everyone involved, it will make people stop and reflect about living in Palo Alto and what makes it special and lovable”.
Palo Alto Perry’s sojourn will come to an end at the 34th Annual Summer Festival and Chili Cook Off, July 4th. His lovable notes and photos will then be compiled and presented to the Palo Alto City Council members. For all his efforts, Palo Alto Perry will receive a proclamation celebrating the community spirit and love for the special places within the City.