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WERC barbecue raises funds to help keep wildlife center open

Group helps minimize the human impact on animals

Published in the Oct. 14-27, 2015 issue of Morgan Hill Life

By Staff Report

W.E.R.C-1-webFamilies and animal fans will want to attend the Wildlife Education and Rehabilitation Center’s 20th Annual Wildlife Fest! at the Morgan Hill Buddhist Center. The barbecue and auction raises funds to care for injured, orphaned and sick wild animals brought to the center.

“WERC does not charge a fee to people who bring in animals to the center,” said Anna Venneman, the center’s educational coordinator. “The barbecue/auction is our biggest fundraiser to help alleviate the costs — medical, food, and enclosure maintenance — of caring for these animals in hopes of releasing them back out into the wild where they belong.”

The barbecue gives people an insight of what WERC does, she said. The event helps educate the public about the South Valley’s wild neighbors in hopes that fewer animals will need help in the future.

People coexist with animals every day but most of the time they don’t give a second thought to the actions they make even if they know it can hurt our wildlife, she said. By seeing animals up-close and hearing their stories, it make it easier for adults and kids to be able to relate to animals out in the wild and to start making better choices to ensure our wildlife can coexist peacefully with us and to maintain the important balance in nature.

Wildlife centers such as WERC help minimize the human impact on animals. Most animals that need help come to the center due to some type of human involvement. WERC volunteers hope to save these animals and put them back out into the wild so they can continue to keep the ecosystems balanced.

Education is key to help prevent animals from being harmed by humans, Venneman said.

“We hope by bringing our non-releasable educational ambassadors to classrooms and other programs, people will understand why it is so important to think about how our actions impact nature and our future,” she said. “This is why it is important to get the word out to help wildlife and learn to coexist peacefully with nature. Nature does not need us to survive, but we as humans need nature to thrive.”

DETAILS

What: WERC BBQ
When: Noon to 3 p.m., Saturday Oct. 17
Where: Morgan Hill Buddhist Community Center, 16450 Murphy Ave.
Tickets: $45 for adults 13 and older, $10 for children 5 to 12 and free for those younger than 5. Available at the Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce, 17485 Monterey Road, the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce, 7471 Monterey St., BookSmart, 80 E. 2nd St., Morgan Hill, or through Paypal at www.werc-ca.org.
Contact: (408) 779-9372 or email wercmh@gmail.com.