On Saturday, June 29th, the Downtown team attended Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Rescue Center’s 13th Annual “GET WILD” Benefit. This exquisite gala was hosted at the beautiful and aromatic private garden of Joan and Bernard Carl in Southampton, New York with the sole intention of raising money and awareness for the organization.

This is Valentin(o/a). He/she was found on Valentine’s Day and is one of many rescue animals at EAWRC.

At the benefit, guests were met with live music, refreshing cocktails and wine, and a silent auction, which featured luxurious inventory from one-of-a-kind art and unbelievable getaways to a Waterdrinker gift card and a “bird lover” basket. The event also featured a few spokespersons that educated the crowd on success stories about critters that the organization has rescued and released back into the wild. Needless to say, all proceeds from the auction benefitted the organization and in turn, the surrounding wildlife.

Our Downtown team was honored to be part of the event and was excited to learn more about the Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Rescue Center. The center is Eastern Long Island’s only wildlife hospital; it is a non-profit organization with an aspiring mission. Their goal is “to preserve & protect our region’s native wildlife by providing rehabilitation services and education to raise public awareness of the factors that threaten its abundance and diversity”. The hospital is intended exclusively for wild animals, and unlike a veterinary hospital, many factors such as ambient noises or smells aren’t an issue for the wildlife that is recovering within.

The Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Rescue Center is situated on a greenbelt of public land, totaling several thousand acres on the eastern end of Long Island. That being said, it is the perfect setting for a wildlife rehabilitation center. Every day, the facility is faced with the task of obtaining and treating wounded wild animals. Every animal holds a unique story, and though some of the team may be tempted to care the animals for longer, the center abides by strict rules of release.

Downtown had an amazing opportunity to talk to Amanda Daley from Evelyn Alexander about her role and experiences with the rescue center:

Downtown: What is your position at the Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Rescue Center and how many years have you been with the organization?

Amanda Daley: My title is Office Manager, but like all of us here, I wear many hats. With only a small staff, we have to operate as a team which means we jump in to help wherever help is needed. From working our fundraisers, to feeding animals, to laundry duty, we are all willing to contribute to the success of the Center. After almost 5 years here, I have learned so much more about, not only wildlife but also the effort that must be expended to sustain a non-profit.

DT: What is your favorite part about being involved with the rescue center?

AD: I am lucky in that I have so many “favorite” parts of my job. I love the comradery here and the sense of being part of a common goal. As far as specific tasks, my job includes running a wildlife rescue hotline that answers calls regarding wildlife 24/7. It is rewarding to know that I helped an animal in distress and often, a person in distress as well. I feel that I am making a contribution, however small, to the health of our planet.

DT: How much money was raised?

AD: “Get Wild” is our largest fundraiser and on average, it generates about a quarter of our annual budget. We operate with a yearly cost of approximately $775,000 at this point. Because we continue to grow (around 2000 animals admitted last year), our costs increase from year to year. We rely on this fundraiser to offset a large portion of our operating budget, and without the generosity of our supporters, we would not be able to help so many animals. 

DT: Does Evelyn Alexander have any upcoming events that people should know about?

AD: Our next event is at Centro Trattoria and Bar in Hampton Bays on July 16th from 6-8pm. This is our 3rd year running the event with Centro and Beth Stern. Our presenting sponsor for the event is Daniel Gale, Sotheby’s International Realty. Ancona Levine Attorneys, Grand Gate Capital, Hampton Standard Kitchen, Market and Bar, Good Ground Animal Hospital and Despatch of Southampton also lend their support. Centro generously provides the hors d’ouevres and cocktails for the open bar, great prizes are donated for the auction and all of the proceeds go to the Center. We take the education birds and everyone has a blast. It’s a favorite of mine. Tickets are available through Eventbrite!

DT: What is the best way for people to help out?

AD: Donations! We do not receive government funding, so in order to maintain the hospital, support from the public is critical. Attending our events and spreading the word about the work we do helps us tremendously. We have a Wishlist on Amazon, and we run supply drives through our Facebook page and newsletter for things we use daily in the hospital like paper towels and bleach. Every contribution helps!