Walla Walla aviary fundraising kicks off

The newly formed Friends of Pioneer Park Aviary will have an informational table set up downtown Saturday.

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WALLA WALLA -- The first official fundraiser for the newly formed Friends of Pioneer Park Aviary steering committee takes flight Saturday.

"We are trying to put some information out into the public. We are trying to coalesce public sentiment and desire to do something," said committee member Craig Keister.

Budget cuts for 2011 have left the aviary unfunded and facing complete closure unless funding is secured.

Keister, a downtown businessman who owns and operates Tra Vigne (formerly Mandrakes), said he has heard numerous comments from people who want to save the aviary and feels it is a mistake to shut it down.

"That sort of comment usually just stays in the living room or over the back fence, but what we are trying to do is get organized and get together and get some force and save it. And I think that is what we are going to do," he said.

The group will be at Land Title Plaza, by 33 E. Main St., from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday to provide information about the park and hopefully garner more support.

Alfred Diaz can be reached at alfreddiaz@wwub.com or 526-8325.

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