Saturday, October 17, 2009

Wild Canid's Centers Grassroots

Ralph and Betty White, Jack Hanna and Janie, L to R.

I got involved with the Wild Canid Center a couple of months ago. Better known to St. Louis as the Wild Wolf Sanctuary over off of Antire Road at Tyson Research Center, land owned by Washington University. Dr. Marlon Perkins and his wife Carol founded the center in 1971 with a group of friends who were quite worried about the survival of the the species. Today it is the only American Zoo and Aquarium Association accredited wolf facility in the world. Other interesting facts about the center:
  • Helped recover the red wolf population from 14 wolves to 160 in captivity and over 70 in the wild.
  • Helped recover the Mexican gray wolf population from 5 wolves to 235 in captivity and over 40 in the wild.
  • Unlike many other wolf facilities, the WCSRC is not a refuge for abandoned pet wolves. Its most important mission is the rearing of endangered wolves for reintroduction; for that reason it is open to the public only by appointment and for a specific part of the wolves?
Now, this is just a short list of the stuff they do and the story doesn't stop here. What I find most interesting is the fact that the organization started grassroots. Marlon and his wife and a group of friends/associates sitting around talking about the wolves, then each of them bucking up to start the process of saving the endangered species. This was 37 years ago, 37 years! When I met recently with daughter Margarette, she shared stories and publications going back to the sixties, of her families efforts to save the wolves, including she herself cutting up chicken on Saturday afternoon chores to feed them as a child. Enter 2009, years later and many wolves saved, the center needs our help.

Last night I invited a group of friends to embark with Janie and I on our new mission--to help re-energize not only the plight of the wolves, but the plight of the organization struggling to maintain its ability to continue on with the Perkins legacy. We plan on making that happen.

I became involved from my usual connecting of the dots (Lone Wolf/Wild Candid Center) and was asked to embark with them to provide donor support at the 2009 Gala event. Like most events that I am asked to provide support on in the way of "in-kind" and or strategic marketing purposes, I can draw a line from the Charity to our business, it wasn't too difficult in this case because of the name and my love for the area, which sits between Lone Elk Park and West Tyson Park along the Chubb trail. I had heard and researched the facility after becoming involved, but never visited the wolves.

By the way, "in-kind" donations of food and services are indeed real dollars to our organization and the concept of strategic marketing has been a tradition and part of the culture of Pfoodman since the company was founded in 2000. Pfoodman Holdings has supported the MS Society, the Arthritis Foundation, the St. Louis Science Center, Trailnet, the Chesterfield Arts and many other not-for profit groups in similar capacities in order to help these important causes raise needed funds for continued advancement.

Now, it usually stops there for us in most cases. We try and spread our resources to help the causes, especially in these times, when all causes truly need the help. The Wild Canid Center is no different and Janie and I plan on getting involved by supporting the center as a family and with Pfoodman/Lone Wolf's continued support with in-kind fund raising stratagies.

They had us at Howlo...
Last night Janie and I hosted a Wolf Howling for some friends and family--a private tour and presentation on the wolves and the Wild Canid Centers work there. Hoping to see and hear the wolves was on the mind of everyone when we arrived. We were not disappointed. "Dude", the alpha male was howling it up upon our arrival and most of the species were available for us to see on this special guided tour, not open to the public. And this ain't no zoo folks, there is very limited human contact. We truly got the vision and the purpose of the Wild Canid Center, as simply put: Save the Wolves.

Please, when thinking of your giving plans for the year, consider the Wild Canid Center. Call me direct at 314-496-2317 to find out more and/or to set up a meeting with Director of Development, Denise Nearing. I will buy the coffee. Get involved like my family plans to. Consider coming to our fund-raiser at Lone Wolf Coffee Company in November 21st, at Lone Wolf. Look for more details soon.

5 comments:

Team Trail Monster said...

Very Nice Mr pFood!

I'd buy a cup of bold joe at the "Lone Wolf" for "Dude" anyday.

Anonymous said...

Great review; great cause. Thanks so much for your interst in supporting the wolves.

Three cheers for the Pfoodman from a Wild Canid Center Board Member.

Anonymous said...

Plan to see ya there. From a new sponsor of "Rocky"

Anonymous said...

Ralph,

Happy to get involved in any wy I can...keep me updated on the fundraiser in Nov. Let me know what I can do.
Vivian

Anonymous said...

Ralph,

Interesting...Happy to get involved in any way I can help!
Vivian