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Chocolay Raptor Center deserving of community support

Many nonprofits, institutions and other organizations have experienced a loss in income or funding amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

And the nonprofit Chocolay Raptor Center in Harvey, which focuses on rehabilitating raptors and educating the public about them, was no exception.

The center lost all of its income from speakers and programs over the past few months due to pandemic-related cancellations.

The income from speaker fees, Chocolay Raptor Center co-founder Jerry Maynard said in the Journal article Friday, makes up “significant part” of the center’s income and that income is needed to support the center’s primary mission: bird rehabilitation.

However, as the center’s income has gone down, its expenses have not.

And it’s not easy to perform avian rehab or care without funds for the many supplies needed.

That’s why we were delighted to hear the center recently received a $2,000 grant from the AEP Renewables’ Apple Blossom Wind Project, a subsidiary of American Electric Power and AEP Energy.

The grant supports bird rehabilitation and its funds will go toward necessities, such as food and equipment, for the birds at the center, according to the Journal article.

It’s great news for the community as a whole that this funding has come in for the Chocolay Raptor Center, as the center’s mission is critical for the health of the region’s raptors and the overall well-being of the ecosystems these birds reside in.

For example, the center in January released a rehabilitated bald eagle back into the wild after it had suffered lead poisoning, and used the event as a way to educate the public about the dangers of introducing lead into the wild.

That’s just one of the many ways the center combines rehabilitation and education in our community, and we hope to see these programs resume as soon as it’s safe to do so.

In the meantime, we encourage area residents to visit the center’s Facebook page for livestreamed educational programs, and reach out to the center to see how they can support it.

Overall, we here at the Journal commend the center’s staff, as well as Apple Blossom, for finding a way to fund the care and rehabilitation of these beautiful birds amid the pandemic.

To learn more about the Chocolay Raptor Center, go to its Facebook page or call 906-249-3598.

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