Oh my. I am exhausted from the article that appeared in the Post yesterday about the beautiful wolf pups. Such an outpouring of love for the center and concern. I anticipated a couple negative outbursts too, but had now idea where the jugular would be. I am compelled to answer some of the concerns and would like to use this forum as a question and anwer place. Why not?
Just what am I talking about?
The Endangered Wolf Center has basically been near collapse for the past couple years. Barely squeaking by, living hand to mouth through the thicks, but mostly thins, of cash flow. I got involved through an in-kind donation for the Gala event in 2008. We basically did the event for free. I wanted to meet Betty White and get a picture taken with her, which I was successful. In fact, I sat right next to her table and got to talk with her a couple times. She is one cool lady. Same with Jack Hanna.
Things began to slide from there. A year and a half later, after joining the board and becoming involved because I liked the people and the wolves, I find myself as the board chair and leading an effort to either close or re-invent the 40 year institution.
I have found this to be an extremely hard task because of a small group of folks destined to keep the center (and the people working hard to save it) from correcting itself. Some of these people are close to me, others sit off to the side and wait for opportunities to point out faults. This is kind of irritating, especially because I am simply a volunteer and try and stay within my abilities to help oversee things. I have spent a lot, a lot of time on the center as of late.
I ask these people (in this here public and transparent forum), what is the deal? There seems to be issues with what occurred in the past, with people who have moved on or gone away. Why have a bone of contention aimed at the EWC now with every single inch of the place being evaluated and secured, scrutinzed and fixed for change; the individuals you hold responsible are no longer around.
The center is the Wolves, folks! Why take aim at them?
It is low road stuff. The same stuff that centers on bad energy and negative broadcast. It is the devil. I really don't want to shut the center down. But I don't really have the patience to deal with the politics of armchair opinion either. I am hopeful somebody will come in and help me, because this is an enormous task. I am trying (like Billy Jack) not to lose my temper on matters.
I think I can lead the center out of trouble, with some additional board members and some cash combined with impecable detication to ethics. But man, without the hate mongers at least tossing a small bone into the confidence den, they will likely get their wish, it will close. Bottom line, it appears that the folks who show a lot of anger towards the center do not have the resources or the connections to save it, otherwise they would approach me now and try and help. Instead they hide behind the past and whatever assumptions they conger up.
Folks, crisis does not forever tarnish an institutions ability to get its act together--to manage through crisis and then sustainability is our mission, get on board. This is your amnesty period. Please forgive and help out. How long are you going to hold on to that which is at the center of things--the fact that the low road is a more comfortable place--that the real essense of this project lies in community.
Hey, no prob. This is a tough time, I kind of understand this stuff, when people get pissed, when people need a forum.
Please, get off your keyboards and phones, quit writing nasties on forums, and emails, quit calling our donors, our constituents, our members.
Regardless, lets sort this out here, on my forum. I invite anyone to share dialog over the EWC. Lets get the Moose out of the room.