Animal lovers Lynne Mulder and Morris Flewwelling are coming to the rescue of the Medicine River Wildlife Centre.
The two prominent Red Deerians are stepping up to take the lead to raise $400,000 to finish the construction of the new hospital. Another $125,000 is expected to come through a provincial grant.
Carol Kelly, executive director, has been juggling the fundraising and running the centre for years. Kelly said she reached out to the two supporters because she cannot do it all.
“It’s a huge relief to me because I wake up in the morning with a nervous stomach thinking about how I am going to do this all by myself,” said Kelly.
Mulder said her passion is animals and she jumped on board to help the worthy cause. Mulder, who is well-known for her domestic animal advocacy, has two dogs, seven cats and 40 fish.
“My passion is animals,” said Mulder. “I have a huge interest. I think (caring for the wildlife) is a big need in the community. And it’s not one people will rise up and say, ‘yes I am going to help.’ Most people do not think about wildlife that much.”
Mulder said she heard some of the Medicine River Wildlife Centre stories and animals that were saved, which “just brings tears to your eyes.”
Mulder said the duo will form a small cabinet to tackle the task at hand. She said they will likely be targeting particular donors in the Central Alberta region including the County of Red Deer and Central Alberta municipalities.
“My feeling is somebody has to do it,” said Mulder. “I am really happy Carol Kelly has stepped up to the plate and I would like to help her if I can.”
The centre has cared for thousands of animals from moose to owls, deer and birds since 1984.
Nearly all patients admitted to the hospital have been injured by human activities such as vehicles, power lines, barbed wire, windows, domestic cats and litter, according to the Medicine River Wildlife Centre. Roughly 60 per cent will be rehabilitated and released back into appropriate habitats.
Recently the Medicine River Wildlife Centre received a $111,000 grant towards the centre’s land preservation project, which is separate from the capital fundraising campaign. The centre is about $600,000 short for this project. It protects the wetland from development and provides a sanctuary for the species such as Great Grey Owls, Sandhill Cranes warblers and rare plants.
Find out more about the centre’s fundraising campaign at www.indiegogo.com/projects/otis-s-extreme-home-makeover#/story or visit www.mrwc.ca.