Secretary of State Salutes Volunteers
For Immediate Release
Contact: Sue Kirchoff, College of Veterinary Medicine, 612-624-3781
Secretary of State Salutes Volunteers at U of M Raptor Center
MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL (May 3, 2005) – Minnesota Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer visited The Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota during a National Volunteer Week event on April 20.
“National Volunteer Week is about thanking our community’s most valuable assets – volunteers – and calling the public’s attention to all that they do to strengthen our communities by giving their time to organizations like The Raptor Center,” Kiffmeyer said.
During the past year, more than 300 volunteers logged 32,000 hours at The Raptor Center – the equivalent of about 16 full-time employees. Volunteers are critical in helping veterinary staff care for injured birds, exercising the birds in preparation for release back to the wild, and educating the public.
“Volunteers have been vital in helping The Raptor Center fulfill its mission of teaching, research, and service since the program began in 1974,” said Dr. Jeff Klausner, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine, who also spoke at the recognition event. “The Raptor Center’s volunteer program has been a model for the rest of the College. We recently added a volunteer program at the Veterinary Medical Center, where people are working with small animal owners and caring for foals.”
“We couldn’t run The Raptor Center without them,” agreed Vivian Neiger, volunteer program manager. “Our volunteers are very loyal to the mission of The Raptor Center. Some of them have been here more than 20 years.”
This year, volunteers were critical in caring for an influx of nearly 120 great gray owls that were injured when they migrated from Canada to Minnesota in search of prey.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 64.5 million people in the United States -- nearly 29 percent of the population -- volunteer in some capacity.
For more information about volunteering at The Raptor Center or the Veterinary Medical Center, contact Neiger at 612-624-3828 or firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.cvm.umn.edu/depts/raptorcenter/volunteer/ or http://www.cvm.umn.edu/vmc/volunteers/home.html
The Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota specializes in the medical care, rehabilitation, and conservation of eagles, hawks, owls, and falcons. In addition to treating approximately 800 birds a year, the program provides training in raptor medicine and surgery for veterinarians from around the world, reaches more than 150,000 people each year through public education programs and events, and identifies emerging issues related to raptor health and populations.
The College of Veterinary Medicine improves the health and well-being of animals and people by providing high-quality veterinary training, conducting leading-edge research, and delivering innovative veterinary services.