This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
World Wildlife Fund just announced a collaboration with Yanni, aimed at raising awareness of giant panda conservation.
The collaboration will kick off in early April 2012, before the first leg of his 75-date North American tour, which includes a stop at Abravanel Hall on July 12.
Yanni was inspired to help protect giant pandas after he "adopted" a two-month old panda cub at the Chinese Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in October 2011. He named the panda "Santorini" after one of the most beautiful islands in his native Greece. (I can attest to that.) "One of the great things about my career is it gives me the opportunity and the privilege to travel all around the world and go to different countries and meet so many different cultures," Yanni said in a press release. "There's a lot of learning that takes place when you do that. While in China, I was deeply honored by the people of China with the adoption of a two-month old giant panda cub. I immediately saw the importance of saving these inspirational animals. Collaborating with World Wildlife Fund will bring awareness to the plight of the giant panda and help save this animal from extinction. Like any proud father I think that my panda is the most beautiful panda in the world. Long Live Santorini." WWF and Yanni have created a $50 Limited Edition "Santorini" Panda Adoption, allowing supporters to symbolically adopt a panda. As a thank-you to those individuals who support WWF's efforts through this program, supporters will receive a symbolic adoption kit that includes a plush panda, a photo of Yanni and Santorini, a DVD with exclusive content (including footage of Yanni and Santorini), a certificate of adoption, a re-useable tote bag, and an information card with a panda photo. Yanni has guaranteed $50,000 in donations, the equivalent of 1,000 "Santorini" symbolic panda adoptions, to support WWF's panda conservation efforts. All donations received exceeding $50,000 will support WWF's conservation efforts to protect wildlife and their habitats around the world. To symbolically adopt a panda, visit http://www.worldwildlife.org/Yanni.