CROW to host 50th Anniversary Celebration Sunday
It has been a milestone year for the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife as it celebrated its 50th anniversary by holding a bigger and better Southern Comfort on Sanibel, serving as grand marshal for the Annual Independence Day Parade, hosting its Walk on the Wild Side outreach event and more.
Still, the wildlife hospital and research facility has one more activity planned.
This Sunday, Dec. 2, it will host its “50th Anniversary Celebration” from 1-4 p.m. at the Visitor Education Center on Sanibel. Free and open to the public, the family-friendly event will combine an open house with celebration festivities and feature animal ambassadors, children’s games and, of course, cake.
“This is our final event of our 50th anniversary year,” event coordinator Diane Neitzel said.
She described it as sort of akin to a birthday or anniversary party.
“It’s a celebration to thank all of our volunteers, sponsors and supporters who over the years have helped us turn CROW into a state-of-the-art wildlife hospital and research center,” Neitzel said.
Visitors will have the chance to check out the center and its new displays and updates.
“We’re very proud,” she said. “We’ve done an awful lot to make it more hands-on user-friendly.”
For example, the public is not permitted to enter the hospital or rehabilitation areas located on the ground floor of the building, but closed-circuit televisions have been installed within the center.
“So they can still view the hospital and some of the staff working in there and in the rehab area,” Neitzel said. “To actually see what goes on when taking care of these patients.”
Also, the exhibits may be new to those who have not visited in awhile.
“It’s always changing,” she said. “The animals are changing, the displays are changing.”
CROW volunteers will be on hand to answer questions and explain any exhibits.
“We’ll have some of our docents in the center,” Neitzel said.
A highlight of the event will be CROW’s animal ambassadors. She explained that all of the in-house representatives will be present, along with the “two-legged” friends – staff dressed in costume.
“We will also have the animal ambassadors that we tour with,” Neitzel said.
“Those animals will be available for photo opportunities,” she added.
In the vein of a birthday party, there will be a number of make-and-take crafts for children.
“We’ll have a variety of different animal games,” Neitzel said. “With prizes to win.”
There will be animal-shaped water squirters, half-mask animal faces and more.
“Carnival-type games and prizes,” she said.
In addition, CROW will serve an anniversary cake and refreshments.
“A number of programs that we’ve done throughout the year have really been more educational – geared more toward adults. We really think an important component in continuing wildlife care and education is children,” Neitzel said. “So if we can combine those two things, that would be wonderful.”
She encouraged residents and visitors to stop on by.
“I’m looking forward to seeking lots of our friends and, hopefully, some new people,” Neitzel said. “It’s just designed to be a fun afternoon.”
For more information, visit online at www.crowclinic.org or call 239-472-3644.
The CROW Visitor Education Center is at 3883 Sanibel-Captiva Road.