Saturday is “Day With Wildlife” at the Stanislaus Wildlife Care Center (SWCC). The September 15th event is free and open to the public from 10am to 3pm at the care center located at 1220 Geer Road in the Fox Grove fishing area near Hughson.
Those who attend will be able to see many wildlife including owls, snakes, foxes, squirrels, a skunk, a hawk, and more.
Day With Wildlife is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Stanislaus Wildlife Care Center and is expected to raise an estimated $5,000 – $10,000, according to SWCC director Donna Burt.
The event raises funds with donated raffle and silent auction items that people may win. There is no charge for admission or parking.
The event will also include BBQ trip tip, other foods, drinks, Slushies, a bake sale, t-shirts, face painting and kids activities.
While there will be many fun things to enjoy at the event; the animals being cared for will be the main focus.
“This is a great event to be able to visit the Stanislaus Wildlife Care Center,” said Dr. Doug Marks, a veterinarian at Monte Vista Small Animal Hospital, who has worked with the organization for over 25 years. “They have many wildlife that they are able to show and people can learn much about California’s wildlife.”
“We took in over 2,000 animals last year, this year we’re already up to 1,700 animals,” stated Jill Bontilao, SWCC assistant director. “In the height of summer we could take in 30 animals days.”
Bontilao expects over 600-1,000 to attend Saturday’s fundraising efforts that help keep the care center afloat. Bontilao is also the animal care coordinator and said that most of the money will go toward everyday operations which total around $200 a day, but that some funds may be used to revamp some cages at the center.
Director Donna Burt is not only excited and appreciative of the direct results of the fundraiser, but also said that residual benefits, as well as providing a community event for the public, make the event even more worthwhile.
“We get a lot of people interested in the event and that tends to up our participation and donations later on,” stated Burt.
The non-profit organization raises an average of about $80,000 to $100,000 a year, according to Burt. Last year about $127,000 was raised, however that included on large grant in the amount of $60,000 to put toward the construction of an eagle cage. Burt started the non-profit organization in 1984 and now oversees the organization supported by more than 1,000 memberships.
Volunteers help keep the center operating and taking care of the wildlife. People wanting to volunteer have to go through a two day training course and commit to volunteering half a day a week for one year. Those interested in volunteering may contact Stanislaus Wildlife Care Center through their website at www.stanislauswildlife.org.