A community garage sale is in the planning for Saturday, September 9, to assist in the continuation of Citizen of the Year Loretta Saunders’ volunteer based Moah’s Ark Yarrawonga Wildlife Rescue Shelter.
For more than 10 years Loretta has voluntarily provided a wildlife shelter and emergency rescue service tending to native animals of all shapes, sizes and varieties twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Costing about $20,000 annually, Loretta is committed to the shelter and its valuable service but relies on the support of many volunteers and donations from the community.
To assist with the fundraising for the shelter a community garage will help raise valuable funds from householders and businesses paying a nominal fee to be a part of the sale. Funds will also be raised from selling maps, highlighting where various sales will be.
Loretta and dedicated volunteer Frank came up with the unique idea of a community garage sale after seeing it in other towns.
“It’s a great way to get everyone involved and educated about the shelter,” Frank said.
“We are committed to continuing this valuable not for profit service in the town but we do need assistance.
“We already have support from Hargraves Solicitors and North East Dental Solutions for the event but are keen to get as many businesses and residents involved as we can,” he said.
“Wayne Hinchcliffe has generously offered to host his stockman’s show for the event. We will have various raffles and will also have an Information Wildlife Rescue Marque erected in the main street.”
Loretta said each year her registered wildlife rescue shelter can handle 1500 to 2000 animals a year, from birds through to kangaroos. And up to 4000 to 5000 during a natural disaster such as a bushfire or flood.
“If we were not providing this service thousands of native animals would have been lost in the area,” she said.
Lorretta highlighted that the Yarrawonga area alone has six endangered native species and she is determined to reverse this trend with the assistance of her shelter and programs she has instigated at Chinaman’s Island Nature Reserve.
The Yarrawonga Wildlife shelter conducts its service under the supervision of the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and is an incorporated charity. Loretta also spreads her valuable knowledge through regular visits to local schools and also welcomes training at the shelter.
She has recently joined forces with Dutch Thunder Care and Rescue of Koonoomoo to form ‘KoonaWonga Wildlife Rescue Inc’ as the principle wildlife service for the central and eastern regions of Moira Shire.
Loretta said the support they get from the community is already incredible but they want to keep their not for profit service viable and sustainable into the future so the whole community benefits.
“I don’t think of what I do as a job – I see it as my passion,” Loretta said.
“It is just really gratifying to know that people appreciate what we do and we are really excited about the community garage sale,” she said.
For more information about the community garage sale, or if you would like to assist on the day, contact Loretta on 0417 288 944.