Blue Ridge Wildlife Center to hold fundraiser

The Blue Ridge Wildlife Center’s annual fundraising soiree will be held in Warren County this year at Beatrice and Adie von Gontard’s Oxbow Farm at 6 p.m. Saturday. This year’s theme is “Where the Wild Things Are.”

Franny Crawford, Blue Ridge Wildlife Center’s director of development, explained what attendees could  expect at the soiree.

“We plan a wonderful evening under the stars and among the wild flowers of Oxbow Farm,” she stated in an email. “Oxbow Farm uses sustainable farming practices including the planting of native grasses and wildflowers to promote birds, bees, butterflies and other wildlife. This is very much in line with the Blue Ridge Wildlife Center’s mission. We will enjoy a lovely dinner and live auction to help raise funds for our Wildlife Walk, a large enclosure for our Education Ambassadors. … Typically we have a wonderful turnout and this year proves to be no exception – We expect between 175 and 200 people.”

She pointed out what the funds raised that evening would be used for.

“The thrust of this year’s event is helping us finish our Wildlife Walk, a 15,000 square foot area that houses our Education Ambassadors that include hawks, an arctic fox, an American bald eagle, a skunk, a possum and others who make their home at the Center because of injuries or illness that won’t allow their release,” she stated.

“Organizations like ours rely on special events for a certain percentage of fundraising needs,” she stated. “Some people prefer to give gifts outright while others prefer to attend fundraising events. Both are vital to our success.”

The Blue Ridge Wildlife Center’s mission is “to ensure the future of our region’s wildlife through wildlife rescue and rehabilitation, research, and public education,” Crawford stated.

“We do this through the rescue, rehabilitation, and if possible release, of our native wildlife; by providing educational programs for children, families, and adults; and through research to track wildlife diseases and other factors that threaten wildlife,” she stated. “We have a new 8,700-square-foot wildlife hospital, a full-time wildlife veterinarian, Dr. Jennifer Riley, D.V.M., and three wildlife rehabilitators and educators who last year presented more than 60 educational programs in the communities we serve.”

Contact staff writer Nathan Budryk at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or nbudryk@nvdaily.com