Wildlife Center of Virginia Could Take Home Big Grant

By: Todd Corillo Email
By: Todd Corillo Email

Three eaglets from the Norfolk Botanical Garden were brought to the Wildlife Center of Virginia in Waynesboro last month, and they are giving the center the chance to win a big cash prize.

The mother of the three eaglets was struck and killed by an airplane in Norfolk.

The eaglets had tens of thousands of fans around the world because of a Webcam set up in their nest.

Several donations came in after the birds were transferred, which allowed the center to install it's own Webcam for people to follow the eaglets' progress.

Each year, the Wildlife Center cares for thousands of animals from across Virginia, including those who have been orphaned, injured or attacked.

Director of Outreach Amanda Nicholson says, "In our 29-year history, we've treated more than 56,000 animals total."

The center is unique because, in addition to rehabilitation facilities, it also has a hospital for native wildlife on the grounds.

"We are the only hospital for wildlife in the state and really throughout the country, there aren't a whole lot of those either," explains Nicholson.

The quiet work of the center became a little more public when the three eaglets arrived, who brought with them followers from around the world.

"That sort of changed things for us a bit," comments Nicholson.

International followers aren't the only worldly thing about the Wildlife Center of Virginia. It's also an internationally known teaching hospital, with students from Spain, Italy and India learning at the center.

However, the teaching programs and treating all the wildlife doesn't come cheaply.

"We are a private non-profit organization, so we rely on donations primarily, people's generosity and support," says Nicholson.

Some additional support will soon be coming soon from the Chase Community Giving Program, which donates money to nonprofit organizations. Winning projects are selected by voters on Facebook.

In the first round of voting, the center placed fourth in the nation. All top 100 vote-getters were awarded $25,000.

In the second round of voting, the center is currently in the the top five. The top vote getter in the second round is awarded $500,000

Nicholson says the center is thrilled and overwhelmed with the response it's gotten from supporters from around the world. She adds staff members say the idea of potentially winning the $500,000 is hard to imagine, but they do have some preliminary plans if they win.

"We want to improve and expand upon our patient housing, both indoors and outdoors, as well as install a network of web cams," adds Nicholson.

To find out how to vote, click on the link below.

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