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Jessica Silvester (2 posts)
In the waters off Long Island, cameras captured a woman with flowing hair, a seashell bra—and a fish tail. The mermaid (or rather, the woman in the mermaid costume) was performing in documentary filmmaker Susan Rockefeller's Mission of Mermaids, a short film that combines a sweeping history of mermaid lore (from ancient Greece to the Disney era) with startling facts about the pollution and overfishing that threaten our seas. Rockefeller's decision to lend her project a dash of storytelling pizzazz was a strategic one. "We're inundated with statistics about global issues, and it gets overwhelming," she explains. "So I wanted to combine myth with science." The film—a sneak peek of which showed at Sundance this year—suggests ways to save our seas, from refusing plastic grocery bags to buying sustainable seafood. Recently, Rockefeller also designed a line of mermaid-inspired jewelry, available at susanrockefeller.com; a portion of each sale benefits the marine protection organization Oceana. When people compliment the pieces, Rockefeller leaps at the chance to share her enthusiasm. "You don't win people's hearts by preaching," she says. "They need to see your passion."
Photo: Rich Barker (left), Karmeta Foster (right)
On Saturday, May 28 (the weekend following the Oprah show finale), some of Oprah's "ultimate viewers"—the lucky 302 fans who joined her in Australia last December—got together to express their gratitude.
"Oprah had asked us to spread the love once we got home," says Julie Lemerond of Scottsdale, Arizona. So she and dozens of her fellow travelers collaborated through Facebook to plan a nationwide volunteer effort in their respective cities--what they called the "Ultimate Day 'O' Service."
In Chicago some helped out at the no-kill humane organization PAWS. In Atlanta they played bingo with residents at a senior home. In Los Angeles volunteers boxed up fruits and vegetables at a food bank. Outside Detroit they held a raffle to raise money for the city's needy.
Lemerond feels deeply rewarded by the experience, and already has more days like it in the works. "It was great to get in the spirit of service," she says, "and to be able to thank Oprah in the right way."
How has Oprah encouraged you to spread the love?