Musician, singer/songwriter and producer Paul Rodgers with wife Cynthia Kereluk-Rogers with SORCO manager Dale Belvedere holding Houdini, the resident great horned owl at the open house Sunday.                                Mark Brett/Western News

Musician, singer/songwriter and producer Paul Rodgers with wife Cynthia Kereluk-Rogers with SORCO manager Dale Belvedere holding Houdini, the resident great horned owl at the open house Sunday. Mark Brett/Western News

South Okanagan owl and raptor centre welcomes Bad Company

The numbers were down but the bucks were still coming in at SORCO open house

Bad Company founder Paul Rodgers once wrote a song about a particular bird and at Sunday’s SORCO Raptor Rehab Centre open house, he had another idea for a tune on the wing.

“Being here today made me think, I’ve written Seagull, so maybe it’s time for Eagle,” said Rodgers with a smile.

He lives with his wife, former Miss Canada Cynthia Kereluk-Rodgers at their Summerland home when they’re not touring with the band.

“Seriously, we’re here today because of the incredible work SORCO does helping raptors. We care very much about all animals and especially wildlife.

“What is really great is to see so many children here today.”

The couple has helped a wide range of facilities internationally, including being longtime SORCO supporters.

“When we’re hiking and come across as many birds as we do, quite often it’s quite amazing to see, and I think there’s a good chance some of them have been rehabilitated here,” said Cynthia. “You know, man and animal don’t often mix and usually it winds up in tragedy for the animals, so to have an organization like this that takes them in and is so committed and has been doing it for so long on a shoestring budget, you’ve got to support that.”

She added: “It’s also quite interesting, even though they are not a restaurant, SORCO does serve 6,000 meals a year. That’s a lot of beaks to feed.”

SORCO manager Dale Belvedere noted the support from Rodgers is critical to her operation.

Related: SORCO celebrates 30 years

“Paul and Cynthia have been supporters of SORCO way over 10 years, longer than I’ve been here. They donated generously to the build of the clinic, they’ve donated to the silent auction in past,” said Belvedere. “All of the proceeds we get today go back to bird care, and so for people like that who just donate from their hearts, it’s just an added bonus.”

She added that while the numbers attending the open house were down several hundred, the nearly $19,000 raised was very close to the 2017 total.

“It’s still truly wonderful and it all worked out,” said Belvedere.

As always the event with it’s many varied and unique opportunities to learn and marvel at the raptors had a little something for people of all ages. It was the 30th anniversary of the facility and resident great horned owl Houdini’s 18th birthday.

Like Rodgers, Fred Wiley, 88, of Oliver is another long-time supporter of SORCO who took the opportunity Sunday to see how he is helping.

“They just do so much good work here at SORCO, the huge number of volunteers, you’ve got to support them,” said McLean. “It’s just such a good cause and I admire the birds. They really are beautiful, they enhance our province and our country.”

For Carolyn and Neil McLean of Osoyoos it was their first visit.

“It’s fabulous, just fabulous. We’ve driven by here so often but it’s not open, so we just jumped at the chance to come and see what they have here, and the work the volunteers do is fantastic,” said Carolyn, 70.

At the other end of the spectrum was seven-year-old Ethan Adams who was there with his sister and dad.

“Houdini was just so neat to see that close. I’ve never seen anything like that,” he said. “He can’t go back to the wild, but he helps kids learn about owls and that makes it better for the ones that can go back. They really do good work here and I want to volunteer here too.”

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

 

Learning was a key element of Sunday’s open house at SORCO as (left to right) Nicolas King, Mackenzie and Riley Baker learn about birds at one of the many display tables.                                Mark Brett/Western News

Learning was a key element of Sunday’s open house at SORCO as (left to right) Nicolas King, Mackenzie and Riley Baker learn about birds at one of the many display tables. Mark Brett/Western News

Nylah Matutak, 2, prepares to give Jerry the Moose (BC Parks mascot) a hug with park ranger Jessie Spence watching on at the SORCO open house Sunday.                                Mark Brett/Western News

Nylah Matutak, 2, prepares to give Jerry the Moose (BC Parks mascot) a hug with park ranger Jessie Spence watching on at the SORCO open house Sunday. Mark Brett/Western News

Houdini was once again the star attraction at the annual SORCO open house.                                Mark Brett/Western News

Houdini was once again the star attraction at the annual SORCO open house. Mark Brett/Western News

Just Posted

RCMP Cpl. Cory Lepine pictured at BC Livestock Producers Co. in Kamloops, Nov. 16. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Meet B.C.’s only cowboy cop; a voice for the livestock industry

Cpl. Cory Lepine serves as a bridge between the law and those who make a living off the land

A group of approximately 40 people hit the streets Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020 in Penticton to protest the measures that have been implemented to control the spread of COVID-19. (Jesse Day - Western News)
‘End the lock-down’ protesters hit the streets in Penticton

The group plans to gather every weekend until restrictions have been lifted, organizer says

LeAnne Jakubeit, a prominent Penticton business woman and wife of former Penticton mayor Andrew Jakubeit, has died after a battle with cancer. Her death was announced Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020 on The Grooveyard’s Facebook page. (The Grooveyard / Facebook)
Prominent Penticton businesswoman dies after battle with cancer

LeAnne Jakubeit opened iconic Penticton record store The Grooveyard 30 years ago

Bill Dyck, 3 (right) was with Amelia Rutlege, 4, and Otis the OSNS Child and Youth Development Centre mascot, balances the envelope with donations he and sister Eloise May raised at their combined birthday party. (Mark Brett - Western News file)
Share a Smile Telethon to support local kids set for tonight

Proceeds support programs for children in the South Okangan

Kyle Charles poses for a photo in Edmonton on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. Marvel Entertainment, the biggest comic book publisher in the world, hired the 34-year-old First Nations illustrator as one of the artists involved in Marvel Voice: Indigenous Voices #1 in August. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
VIDEO: Indigenous illustrator of new Marvel comic hopes Aboriginal women feel inspired

Kyle Charles says Indigenous women around the world have reached out

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Long-awaited federal rent subsidy program for businesses hurt by COVID-19 opens today

The new program will cover up to 65 per cent of rent or commercial mortgage interest

Kelowna’s Post-Modern Connection performs for Riot on the Roof on the top of the Vernon Parkade Saturday, Aug. 22. The band is scheduled to play in the “Live @ The KCT” series in Kelowna on Dec. 4. (Vernon Public Art Gallery photo)
Kelowna concert series moves online due to new health orders

Rebellious Unicorns series ‘Live @ The KCT’ has moved to an online model until further notice

Kelowna City Hall. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Kelowna city staff recommend allocation for nearly $8M provincial COVID-19 grant

Staff suggest the funds be used for lost revenues, support for the Kelowna International Airport

An Oceana Canada audit of Canadian fish stocks reveals a growing number with critical populations, calling on Fisheries and Oceans Canada to enact existing commitments. (File photo)
B.C.’s declining fisheries the result of poor DFO management: audit

Oceana Canada calls for follow through on government commitments

Revelstoke Mountain Resort was voted Best Ski Resort in Canada in the 2020 World Ski Awards. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Revelstoke Mountain Resort voted best in Canada

The World Ski Awards announced the 2020 winners

Most Read