GALION — Area residents can take in a little wildlife and learn about nature’s animals while helping raise funds for Wildlife Haven during the “Walk on the Wild Side” fundraiser on Saturday, Feb. 15 at the Galion St. Joseph Activity Center.
Jane Schnelker, director of Wildlife Haven, 3659 St. Route 598 between between Shelby and Galion, said this is their biggest fundraiser of the year.
She said personnel from the Columbus Zoo will bring several animals to the fundraiser for all to enjoy, while a buffet dinner will be served, also. She said the dinner starts at 6 p.m. at the Activity Center, while the animal program will begin at 7 p.m.
“They bring the animals down into the audience,” Schnelker noted.
The cost is $25 for adults and $12 for children 10 and younger.
“We’ve been having this fundraiser for at least 20 years,” Schnelker said. “We never know what (wildlife) the zoo team is going to bring until they get there. There is also an on-going silent auction that goes on until after the zoo program.”
Schnelker said the fundraiser is always popular and said last year’s event was ‘crazy busy.’
“We usually like to have between 80 and 100 people,” she said.
Those wishing to reserve a spot may call 419-683-3228.
Wildlife Haven is a rehabilitation center that Schnelker said takes in orphaned and injured wildlife.
“Most of which are in trouble due to man-made causes,” she said. “And then we try to help them get back into their world. That’s the goal. To get them back out.”
Schnelker said Wildlife Haven has been around since the late 1980s and at times has helped 700 or more animals each year.
“I’ve always loved wildlife and animals and when I was a child I took care of little squirrels and birds and things. I didn’t have much luck because I didn’t know what I was doing and there weren’t that many resources available either to teach you how to do anything,” she said. “Then there came a time in my early 30s and I was out of work and I took in three little blue jays and I knew you weren’t allowed to have wildlife, so I called the wildlife officer to see what I could do. Once he found out I was interested he started bringing me stuff. So it just grew from those three little blue jays.”
She said anyone who finds an orphaned or injured animal may call her at 419-683-3228. Schnelker said people need to think about their own safety, but generally people bring the animals to the rehab center.
For more information about Wildlife Haven, Schnelker said they have a Facebook page at “Friends of Wildlife Haven.”
This gnarly looking bird is one of the animals Jane Schnelker took in and is rehabilitating at Wildlife Haven. Wildlife Haven is hosting its largest fundraiser of the year at the Galion St. Joseph Activity Center on Feb. 15. There is still time to get involved and help out Wildlife Haven.
Possums and other marsupials, birds, bats and other creatures have found their way to Wildlife Haven to heal and hopefully be returned to thelr life in the wild. Wildlife Haven is having a fundraiser Feb. 15 in Galion at the St. Joseph Activity Center.