“Hip, hip, hippo!” That was Pit Bull lover and advocate Bri Prooker’s enthusiastic cheer when Trophy Central granted her and her family’s request to make “an extra special award for an extra special velvet hippo named Angel.”
Bri Prooker, her sister Kelsey Prooker and mom Katherine Kotaw are the human members of the “KOTAW Girl Gang,” a girl-powered creative marketing and brand storytelling team in Los Angeles.
The furry members of the KOTAW Girl Gang are three rescues: KOTAW Content Marketing’s sweet and loving Pit Bull Brand Ambassador Ivy, a Poodle-marsupial hybrid named LuLU (she has a big, black Koala nose and loves to cling on like a Koala while being carried) and an orange kitten-cat named Doosis with a daredevil streak (she loves to perform kitten-cat tricks —including flying off the KOTAW Girl Gang’s roof!)
The KOTAW Girl Gang is the recipient of Trophy Central’s last “Show Us Your Sue” Random Acts of Trophy-ness award for “Excellence in Bravery, Determination, Creativity, Kindness & Pit Bull Advocacy”.
A Trophy with Many Accolades
While Bri, Kelsey and Katherine have effusively thanked Trophy Central and all the amazing people who nominated them for each and every word on their trophy (and the Trophy Central team did our very best to squeeze in as many accolades as possible on the engraved portion of their award) they have also made it clear that they are most honored to be recognized for Pit Bull advocacy.
The KOTAW Girl Gang has made it their personal mission to spread Pit Bull love wherever they go. They are the creators of Pit Bulls and Personal Branding, their passion project to rebrand Pit Bulls as the sweet and loving dogs they are: “Being our own bosses, we have the lucky luxury of combining our personal and professional passions. Which is why you will very often find tales of Pit Bulls woven into our lessons on personal branding. It’s also why many of our social media posts are devoted to spreading the Pit Bull love, either by sharing positive, feel-good Pit Bull stories, providing information on actionable steps you can take to support a Pit Bull cause, or writing stories and posting pictures of Ivy in her naturally sweet state, often with her adopted Poodle Doodle LuLU and magical kitten-cat fairy Doosis.”
The One and Only ANGEL Award
Who does the KOTAW Girl Gang look to for inspiration as they go about their life’s work?
A rescue Pit Bull named Angel, affectionally called a “velvet hippo” by her mom Rebecca Corry, the creator of the Stand Up For Pits Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to ending abuse and discrimination of Pit Bull-type dogs — and saving velvet hippo lives.
So without further ado, the one and only ANGEL Award Goes to… Angel!
This is what Bri Prooker asked to be engraved on Angel’s award:
Thank you for making the world a better, more loving and more happy place. Thank you for giving millions of people daily joy and laughter and for inspiring us all to respect the now and live in the moment. Thank you for giving your mom the love and strength to Stand Up For Pits and save countless silly, sweet, inherently good velvet hippo lives. Thank you for being you, a real-life and forever Angel.
Her sister Kelsey Prooker used her artistic design background to make a vector file containing Angel’s image so it could be etched onto her award. The Trophy Central Team is told Kelsey used a combination of Illustrator and hand drawing in order to turn a beautiful picture of Angel into a format that would correctly capture Angel’s beauty in 2D. It was a labor of love. Kelsey states:
“I’ve never met Angel but I love her with all my heart. She has brought daily joy into my life and because of her, my pittie-pie Ivy and all the sweet velvet hippos in need, I will spend the rest of my life standing up for pits.”
If you look at Kelsey’s Twitter page, you will quickly see she stays true to her word, sharing posts about Angel and Stand Up For Pits on an almost-daily basis, even creating graphics of Rebecca Corry’s inspiring words, with the hashtag #ThankYouAngel.
Bri and Kelsey’s mom, Katherine Kotaw, states: “Ivy, KOTAW’s sweet Pit Bull Brand Ambassador, would love nothing more than to open her very own animal sanctuary. The KOTAW Girl Gang hopes to one day have our very own non-profit dedicated to helping save Pit Bulls and promoting Pit Bull love, and when we do, we will follow in Angel’s sweet velvet paw prints. The KOTAW Girl Gang wholeheartedly supports the Stand Up For Pits Foundation and encourages others to do the same on a daily basis.”
How YOU can Stand Up For Angel
What are some actionable steps you can take to support Angel and the Stand Up For Pits Foundation — and in turn, help save Pit Bull lives?
Trophy Central will tell you (because Bri and Kelsey e-mailed us all the details in some very, very impassioned emails, so how could we not?!)
- Shop for adorable ANGEL and Stand Up for Pits Merchandise! All proceeds from purchases go directly to the Stand Up For Pits Foundation.
- Make your Amazon purchases through Amazon Smile for Stand Up For Pits and Amazon will donate 0.5% of your purchase directly to Stand Up For Pits.
- Use the “Walk For a Dog” app and select that you want to walk for the Stand Up For Pits Foundation. Bri and Kelsey state: “We get to feel like Angel is going on every walk we take with Ivy and LuLU — plus the app tracks each walk we take and then donates to the Stand Up For Pits Foundation.”
ANGEL Grants Awarded to Non-Profit Animal Rescues
As if the KOTAW Girl Gang’s heartfelt and vehement words about Angel weren’t enough for Trophy Central to grant their request to reward Angel with an award in a category of its own (and believe us, if we quoted all the nice things the KOTAW Girl Gang said about Angel in their emails to us this blog would be at least ten times as long!) here’s another amazing reason:
The Stand Up For Pits Foundation recently mailed out $13,000 in ANGEL Grants to nonprofit groups all over the US, as well as one in Australia.
Angel’s mom, Rebecca Corry, who organized the historical “One Million Pibble March” on Washington, D.C., states: “We look forward to seeing the many lives who will be helped and saved because of this and we thank our inherently good Angel for continually inspiring us to take the action needed in order to create much needed change.”
Thank you Angel, Rebecca Corry and the Stand Up For Pits Foundation for making the world a better place for Pit Bulls and for everyone. We hope Angel’s award does her life-saving and life-altering work justice.
To nominate the next everyday HERO for our Random Acts of Trophy-ness “Show Us Your Sue” award, please leave a comment below with the name of who you are nominating and what makes this person (or animal!) a hero. Or you can use the hashtag #ShowUsYourSue on social media to make your nomination. You can find us on Facebook and Twitter spreading Sue Heck’s positivity and awarding everyday heroes who make the world a better place.
ALSO: If you’re in Los Angeles looking to adopt a snuggly, sweet dog, Olive (who is currently being fostered by Rebecca Corry) is looking for her forever home. If you think you’re her person, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
UPDATE: June 29, 2016: OLIVE HAS BEEN ADOPTED!!!!!!!!! Olive will be going to her new forever home this upcoming Saturday and she already has her very own Instagram account, @ourpitbullolive! Congratulations, Olive — and thank you Rebecca Corry, Angel and the Stand Up For Pit Foundation for being instrumental in her adoption.
We also thank you for including a picture of Olive next to Angel’s trophy in this touching video of her journey to adoption. We’re so happy to be part of her adoption story. It truly gives our Random Acts of Trophy-ness campaign meaning, and we recommend that everyone follow Rebecca Corry’s example and foster or adopt a dog. Look how magical it is: