Houdini the great horned owl and SORCO resident was once again the star of the show at the annual open house Sunday. (Mark Brett - Western News)

Birds of a feather flock together at Okanagan raptor recovery centre open house

Over 2,000 people attend the once-a-year open house at SORCO Raptor Recovery Centre.

“Standing room only.”

That’s manager Dale Belvedere’s description of the scene at the annual SORCO Raptor Recovery Centre open house last Sunday.

Attendance during the course of the five hours was estimated in excess of 2,000 and in total, the centre is expected to realize about $27,000 in donations.

“Once the gates opened at 10 (a.m.) you couldn’t even walk anywhere on the property,” said Belvedere. “It was just crazy, but we’re good.”

One particular item in the donation box particularly caught her attention. An envelope, simply addressed to the centre, with some “very unusual contents” that translated into nearly $3,000 in cash.

“We would just like to thank this anonymous donor for this incredible gift and want the person to know how much this means for the work that we do,” said Belvedere, who would not say what the items in the envelope were. “In my mind whoever did it, did it that way so they wouldn’t be identified, like a name on a cheque would identify someone.”

That was not the only large offering found in the box at the end of the day, there were also two $1,000 cheques and several others for $500 in total adding up to about $16,000 in total.

This year, there was a record number of gift baskets, 211, up for auction, bringing in another $10,000.

This money comes on the heels of a $5,000 donation SORCO received as part of the Steve Rodgers fundraising concert held in Summerland a few weeks ago.

READ MORE: Friendly falcon now in residence at Okanagan raptor rehab centre

Music icon Paul Rodgers and his wife Cynthia Kereluk Rodgers also dropped off a $3,000 cheque Sunday to the Burrowing Owl Conservation Society of B.C. which has a captive-breeding facility on the SORCO grounds, although the organizations are not otherwise affiliated.

READ MORE: Taste of freedom for owls released in Oliver

Under government regulations, SORCO is allowed only allowed to open to the public once a year. This event is a substantial portion of the funds needed to operate the facility, which cares for hundreds of sick and injured raptors annually.


 

@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


 MarkBrett
Send Mark Brett an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

SORCO manager Dale Belvedere (right) and former manager Ken Fujino dish up Houdini the great horned owl’s birthday cake at Sunday’s open house. (Mark Brett - Western News)

Zoe Kirk of the Regional District of the Okanagan Similkameen talks about some of the wild animals of the region at one of the displays at the SORCO open house. (Mark Brett - Western News)

One of the displays in the SORCO education centre. (Mark Brett - Western News)

SORCO manager Dale Belvedere (right) with (left to right) Janice Pim, Cynthia Kereluk Rodgers and Chickenator Claudette Murti. The three were at the SORCO open house to donate a cheque to the Burrowing Owl Society of B.C. (Mark Brett - Western News)

Just Posted

COVID-19 outbreak at Oliver farm declared over

There continues to be other community exposure events in the Interior Health region

Penticton Community Centre prepares for reopening

The community centre will open Aug. 13 with many precautions in place

Penticton Vees seeking billet families for the upcoming season

Many life-long bonds have been formed between players and billet families, says assistant coach

Morning Start: The Exorcist film set was haunted

Your morning start for Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020

Documentary on Kelowna brothers’ Central American surf resort business releases

Lucas and Travis Boychuk moved to Nicaragua in 2008, starting their surf resort business

Canucks ride momentum into NHL playoff series against defending Stanley Cup champs

PREVIEW: Vancouver opens against St. Louis on Wednesday

Man, 54, charged in connection with fatal attack of Red Deer doctor

Doctor was killed in his walk-in clinic on Monday

One dead as fish boat sinks off southern Vancouver Island

Shawnigan Lake-registered Arctic Fox II went down off Cape Flattery, west of Victoria

Landlord takes front door, windows after single B.C. mom late with rent

Maple Ridge mom gets help from community generosity and government

VIDEO: Revelstoke rallies to save snared eagle

Local climber scales tree to save the raptor

42 more people test positive for COVID-19 in B.C.

The province has recorded no new deaths in recent days

Joe Biden selects California Sen. Kamala Harris as running mate

Harris and Biden plan to deliver remarks Wednesday in Wilmington

COVID-19 exposure alert at Cactus Club in downtown Kelowna

Interior Health also announced another three cases of COVID-19 tied to Kelowna, bringing the total to 161

Most Read