This Week @ Liberty – December 05, 2016

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Christmas Megan  (photo by Morry Marshall)

Christmas Megan (photo by Morry Marshall)

Another successful event occurred yesterday at the Rob and Melani Walton Campus of Liberty Wildlife.  Our annual Volunteer Appreciation picnic was held on a splendidly beautiful Sunday afternoon. While the event is all about extoling the accomplishments of the volunteers for the year…it ends up being one more success on their part…and that is all about the scrumptious food that each volunteers contributes to the pot luck fares.  Every year we get the “looked for standards”…John’s Greek salad, Peggy’s pulled pork, whatever Denise brings, and the list goes on.  Then there are always the new surprises and this year’s offerings were off the chart!

At this point I would be remiss if I didn’t mention all of the efforts of Volunteer Coordinator, Carol Suits, and the rest of the staff who worked hours beyond the call of duty to help pull of the event.

Beyond the satisfying consumption of delicious edibles, the event includes yard type games with a little friendly competition, a glimpse at the Interactive room, a trek down the Peace Trail, and a tour of the Education enclosures.  Strolling along the grounds, bird watching, and catching up with other volunteers with the added bonus of meeting friends and volunteers from other days, was all a big part of the afternoon.

The event ended with the announcement of the winners of the traditional counting game, i.e, how many feathers in a jar, rocks in a jar, close pins in a jar, etc. with the winners walking away with some really nice artwork and for one big winner the ultimate prize…the honor of releasing a rehabilitated Cooper’s hawk.  That particular bird made a hasty retreat and showed off his total readiness to be gone from human interaction.  Yes! Just the way we want it.

For those who were unable to attend…we missed you, we missed thanking you for your valuable assistance in our process and in completing our mission, and we missed your company and that of your family who so generously honor your wish to be a part of our team.

An added bonus was Brigette, a Dragon Boater participating in a tour on Saturday, who showed up with bags of her Christmas tree decorations which she most artfully festooned upon our 12 foot lobby tree.  It is beyond the pale.

Come see it for yourself!

This Week @ Liberty 2016 Picnic special

who-is-this-guy

Posted by Terry Stevens (Photo by Stacey)

The intake total for this year has reached 6442.

As the year wanes, operations at 2600 E Elwood begin to ramp up as the volunteers get more familiar with the new facility. Some of us are actually losing weight with all the walking required at the new larger building and grounds!  The intake rate is at its usual low for this time of year and the Intake and Medical Services people have been doing a wonderful job of “keeping up” with what animals have been brought in. Likewise, the Education crew has been presenting all over the area, educating kids and adults alike about whose backyard we’re all living in. 
On Sunday we held the annual Volunteer Appreciation Picnic and it was an unqualified success. The first to be held at the new facility, we had over 100 volunteers sign in (and more that didn’t) and most of them brought friends and relatives so the crowd was impressive.  This was the third major event at the new place in 5 weeks and it’s been quite busy for the staff and volunteers alike. But as always, the people of Liberty Wildlife stepped up and went above and beyond all expectations.  Here’s some of what happened last week…

Kelly shows Acoma to some interested young ladies (photo by Marko)

Kelly shows Acoma to some interested young ladies (photo by Craig)

Gayle introduces Veto to a young bird counter (photo by Kelly)

Gayle introduces Veto to a young bird counter (photo by Craig)

Drum Circle dancers (photo by Marko)

Drum Circle dancers (photo by Marko)

One of the shows recently done by the Education team was at the Gila River Indian Community. Gayle, Craig, Anne, Kelly, and Marko presented and Craig reports: 

“Gila River Indian Community, located just south of Phoenix, has an annual Winter Bird Census for the community where families and leaders visit various spots on their lands to see how the healthy the wildlife is. Birds are very important to both the Maricopa and Pima people, and they feature prominently in many of their stories.

Liberty Wildlife was invited to showcase some of our Education ambassadors at the post census celebration which features native songs, dances and stories. We had Liberty, Skye, Rio, Lance and Veto and presented them to 300 visitors. 

GRIC is also the sponsor of the Education Classroom at our new facility and this was an opportunity to say thank you to the members.” 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I’m not sure what else I can say about the Picnic, so I’ll just post the photos and you can enjoy the event that was!

Official mascot greeter at the Picnic

Official mascot greeter at the Picnic

People are smiling even as they checked in

People are smiling even as they checked in

Our first Christmas tree and our guest decorator, Bridget

Our first Christmas tree and our guest decorator, Brigette Flamm

Soren was immortalized in a cake brought in by Doris

Soren was immortalized in a cake brought in by Doris

The turnout was huge!

The turnout was huge!

Balinda and Kurt open some wine

Balinda and Kurt open some wine

Inching along - the food line

Inching along – the food line

...and it stretched for quite a distance

…and it stretched for quite a distance

Taking it easy on a beautiful afternoon

Taking it easy on a beautiful afternoon

"The WIld Bunch"

“The WIld Bunch”

A little future volunteer who loves birds

A little future volunteer who loves birds

So, who cut the Soren cake?

So, who cut the Soren cake?

Wendy wins one of the prizes

Wendy wins one of the prizes

Katia wins a release

Katia wins a release

Nice toss!

Nice toss!

And another healthy accipiter goes free!

And another healthy accipiter goes free!

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2 Responses to This Week @ Liberty – December 05, 2016

  1. Chris & Carla Wykoff says:

    Wonderful event – thank you from all of us for giving us the opportunity to contribute to the future of our Planet

  2. Lynda J. Adams says:

    I am sorry I missed the picnic — sure looks like you had FUN!

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