The Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) held their annual fundraiser, ‘WILD About CROW’ on Friday, January 26th, and raised an astonishing $1 million thanks to the generosity of the sold out crowd.
Held at Burroughs Home and Gardens, the event brought together a group of philanthropists and community members to aid in CROW’s efforts to rebuild their Sea Turtle Complex, destroyed by Hurricane Ian. Uniquely to the event this year, Sanibel residents Bill and Laurie Harkey donated $750,000 to CROW’s critical fundraising efforts to jumpstart the evening’s festivities.
“The Harkeys generosity to CROW over the years has been remarkable, but to make sure we have a great start on funds needed for the new sea turtle complex is nothing short of wonderful. There can be no doubt the success was due to Bill and Laurie and their inspiration of everyone with us at WILD.” says Alison Charney Hussey, Executive Director of CROW.
Along with the Harkeys’ generous donation, the event raised more than an additional $250,000. These funds will go directly towards funding the $2 million project of rebuilding CROW’s new Sea Turtle Complex. Hurricane Ian destroyed many of the clinic’s outdoor enclosures, and their ability to treat Sea Turtles. CROW fulfills an important role as the only licensed Sea Turtle facility on the west coast of Florida between Sarasota and the Keys. Until the sea turtle complex is rebuilt, local sea turtles are transferred hundreds of miles away for their care.
Always a “wild” time with attendees donning their finest animal print attire, the theme and décor were focused on the turtles. Sea turtle kites hung from the ceiling of the pavilion at the Burroughs Home and Gardens with table decorations meant to feel like beautiful coral. Hosted by Jen Stacy, ABC7’s More in the Morning anchor, bidding on much desired silent and live auction items were hotly contested contributing to the funds raised. Everyone received a limited edition Wild about CROW Tunaskin shirt with Sanibel artist Myra Robert’s original artwork of a sea turtle, special to CROW.
Four-time presenting Sponsor Edison National Bank/Bank of the Islands returned to ensure all not only enjoyed themselves but also recognized the importance of the evening and CROW’s mission to save our local and migratory wildlife. President Robbie Roepstorff said, “CROW is a true treasure for all of Southwest Florida and it is so important for everyone to support their vital mission of saving the sea turtles and wildlife they see every year. We are proud to sponsor this unique event.”
About Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW)
Established in 1968, the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) is a teaching hospital saving the sick, injured and orphaned native and migratory wildlife of Southwest Florida and beyond. Through state-of-the-art veterinary care, public education programs and an engaging visitor center, CROW works to improve the health of the environment, humans and our animals through wildlife medicine. For more information, or to plan your visit, go to www.crowclinic.org. If you find an animal that is in need of help, call (239) 472-3644 ext. #222.