Wishes for Wildlife 2013, the 20th anniversary of our biggest fund raising event of the year is now a past event. It was a lovely evening at the Montelucia and for all purposes, it was pretty glitch free. That doesn’t come easily for those of you who have never had the pleasure of organizing and executing an event of this size. And, trust me, it takes a village.
There are so many people to thank that it is hard to get started. But certainly, all of the volunteers who worked for a year to gather items, plan a program, get decorations, refine the lists, create and print the collateral, man the web site, lay out the auction, man the auction, clean up after the auction, and make sure everything gets back in its place for the next time.
Then there are all of the donors, corporate table hosts, and individual table hosts. People who make a contribution of items to auction, who donate their services to design, print, address, or who plan and execute the program. Here I am going to step out on a limb and name a few standouts. First I want to thank Christi Warner-Beyer, Wishes for Wildlife Executive Committee member and Michael Barnard, Artistic Director of The Phoenix Theatre for the cleverly planned program. A great deal of effort went into making this a fun, entertaining and delightful way to stay mission driven in our program, using our educational ambassadors and their handlers to drive home the message of our education group.
I can’t let the opportunity to pass without expressing my heartfelt gratitude to the wonderful people from SRP’s audio visual department, Mark Kenger and the gang, who every year have kept me on a path with a smile, with incredible patience, and with technical expertise that is unparalleled. They are the best!
I also want to praise Pat Kohfal , Esprit Décor, who has generously helped with matts for donated art, with framing and plaques for awardees and with serenity when I show up at the last minute with something that slipped from my radar until the last minute. There is always a smile and a “yes, I can” attitude and I greatly appreciate that.
I need to also thank Char Hubble and Marc Reid who stepped up last year to take on the roles of Benefit Chairs. They have met with us, provided ideas to make the event what it was, and we are forever in their debt. None of this could have been done without the dedication from the heart from Peggy Cole (not enough that I can say here…another day!), Terry Stevens, Carol Suits, Jan Miller, and all of the Wildlife Guardians who each had major roles in the organization and program planning. They each deserve more than they got….a pat on the back and the intrinsic reward of a job well done all to further the mission of Liberty Wildlife.
Let me not forget Nan and C.A. Howlett for their roles as our Honorary Chairs for this benefit. C.A.’s eloquent words when asked by a friend why he supports this organization were made of gold. He could be and is the perfect spokesman for Liberty Wildlife, and if I could hire him, I would.
And, lastly, my friend and advisor, Kathleen Lang, the recipient of this year’s Legacy Award for her creation of this event twenty years ago and for the nearly 3 million dollars she has helped raise to allow us to assist thousands and thousands of animals and to educate hundreds of thousands of people about the beauty and benefits of wildlife. To her lovely daughter, Kaitlin, who gracefully presented the award to her mother, I give my thanks in awe…what a lady!
To you, the supporters of this event, by helping, attending, donating….I am forever in your debt. From the bottom of my heart….a huge THANK YOU!
This Week at Liberty
The intake number now stands at 899.
Time to breathe again, as the Wishes for Wildlife event for 2013 is now in the history books. A few cleanup items remain, but all-in-all it was a very nice event. Prior to that, last week saw a few more intakes (ok, maybe more than a FEW…) and a couple of notable happenings which I’ll present below. The real stars of the day were, as always, the great volunteers of Liberty Wildlife. And, as always, the work of the organization goes on at full tilt. Read on…
As noted last week, R&T volunteer Joe Patrizi answered the call to drive to Lake Havasu to bring in this little fledgling GHO who was in the care of rehabber Pam Short. The little guy is doing OK but appears to have burns from an electrical accident sometime in his, as yet, short life. Hopefully the rapidity with which he arrived will help him make a successful recovery. Thanks, Joey!
It seems like we’re becoming the “Baby bald eagle” capital of Arizona with the arrival of yet another little kid last week. The two fledglings are now being housed together in an outside enclosure as they make progress in their healing process. Unfortunately, another call from AZGFD about a downed fledgling bald from the Riverside nest was not so good. One chick was observed in the nest tree with a parent as I drove up to the site, but its sibling was dead on the side of the road, possibly from a car collision. Sad, but all too common as eagles and humans occupy a lot of the same territory…
OK, no matter what is going on at any given time in the ICU, people are always oohing and ahhing over these little guys who, on a cuteness scale of one to ten are about a fifteen! Toba used my camera to grab this shot as the following rescue operation was taking place 10 feet away…
Last week, one of Nina’s neighbors noticed this little lizard stuck in an opening in an irrigation control box cover. Tammy, one of our star R&T volunteers, brought it up to Liberty and in the middle of the rest of the Tuesday “Vet Night” activities, I got a blade from a jigsaw. Holding the blades in my fingers in order to stay as careful as possible, I began sawing the hard resin cover to get the little animal free. Tammy held both the lid and the lizard to keep him from getting cut and after 38 minutes for sawing and cutting with a variety of tools, the opening was made large enough for her to extricate the little reptile. He(?) has since been released back into his own yard and now can tell his friends about his adventure.
Wishes for Wildlife 2013, our 20th annual fundraiser, was held at the Montelucia Resort in Paradise valley last Saturday night. Everyone who was able to attend appeared to have a great time and from the early estimates, it was a productive night for the organization in terms of donations. Final results won’t be available for some time, but the silent and live auctions alone were record setting. And in the end, all of the attendees, including many volunteers, had a chance to clean up, dress up, and enjoy some time together for a good cause. Thanks to all who participated!