Fundraising season in full swing at Hoo Haven wildlife center

Published: Jun. 8, 2023 at 6:46 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - The 2023 summer fundraising season is underway at Hoo Haven Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center in Durand.

It costs about $50,000 to keep Hoo Haven going every year.

“That means heat, electric, vet bills, medicine, special foods—everything to give the very best to the animals that are here,” said Hoo Haven Director Karen Herdklotz.

Staff says it has operated since 2000 from the support of numerous donors who’ve helped them rescue thousands of wild animals like bobcats, eagles, owls and hawks.

“The ice cream is free, the sundaes are free, the tours are free,” Public Relations Director Donald Czyzyk said of the bi-weekly ice cream socials held at the facility. “We want to give back to everybody and show them what they can learn here at Hoo Haven about their own back yard.”

Hundreds of people flock to the Hoo Haven compound for dozens of fundraisers the organization each year.

“And it’s about community outreach, letting people know that we’re here, and how they can support us,” Czyzyk.

Hoo Haven visitors drop off a variety of donations—food, supplies, and cash—during the events to help them educate the community.

“We go out to schools, scouts, retirement homes, nursing homes and we do programs,” Herdklotz said.

Visitors also donate their time. Callie Woodcock became a regular volunteer four years ago after she brought Hoo Haven an injured goose she found in her neighborhood.

“I love helping animals,” Woodcock said. “It’s been a passion of mine since I was little.”