Alley-oops for Eles

Mara Elephant Project thrives on the grassroots efforts by others to raise money to help us protect elephants and conserve the greater Mara ecosystem even from afar.

Recently MEP has been showcasing the need for funding to keep our Karen Blixen Camp Ree Park Safari Robinson R44 helicopter flying. The helicopter is deployed on rapid response missions that help enable MEP to cover over 1 million acres of land and place rangers in perfect positions for mitigating human-elephant conflict at critical times for both elephant and human safety.

Marc and his Helicopter

Though MEP is based on Kenya, Sam Miles who lives in Indianapolis, IN USA decided he could help raise funds for this critical need for MEP. Sam first learned about MEP because of a family friend’s recent trip to the Mara.

“The inspiration was just that I knew it would be fun to get everyone together for some friendly competition in support of a great cause.” – Sam Miles


15493758_10211375065154600_1734946705995960709_oSam got in touch with MEP and decided to construct a 4-on-4-basketball tournament where 100% of the proceeds would go toward purchasing helicopter fuel.

Working with MEP, and his friend Reid Stephens, Sam was able to secure gym space, created an event on Facebook, emailed and called his friends and got the word out about coming to participate in the MEP Basketball Tournament. He decided on an entry fee of $50 per person and found a local donor who secured four floor seats to the Pacers vs. Trailblazers game for the winning team and four club-level seats to the Colts vs. Texans game for the second place team.

MEP Basketball Tourney

There were 11 teams of four players each and each game was 10 minutes with the highest score winning. Congratulations to Andrew Gregory, Cameron Burns, Jake Harmon and Shane Smoot on winning the MEP t-shirts and Pacers tickets!


Sam raised over $2,000 through his grassroots effort and plans on doing this event again in 2017! This money will provide enough fuel for over 20 hours of flying time for the MEP helicopter. Thank you Sam for your amazing contribution to MEP!


Mara Elephant Project encourages anyone with a fundraising idea born out of passion for conservation to contact us about hosting a fundraiser in your hometown!