LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - Community support for Aviary amazing

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It's been only a few weeks since Friends of Pioneer Park Aviary was formed to attempt to save this wonderful regional asset we know as the Aviary. So how are we doing ? Although time is indeed short, response from our community has been nothing short of amazing.

With the three months promised by the city, our street donations, and the very successful fundraiser at the Elks a few Saturdays ago, we have raised about $43,000 toward our first-year goal of $55,000.

The initial stage of our fundraising has literally been by the seat of our pants, with a very small window of time in which to succeed or fail, and failure is out of the question. Our first stage is to raise public awareness, and raise enough money to be taken seriously and positively by both our community and the city.

To that end, we are doing well.

Our second plan stage is to seek out individuals, groups, businesses, corporations, trusts and grants capable of one- or two-time donations, hopefully of an amount that not all of us are able to come up with.

The third plan stage is to seek out more sustaining funds, coming through endowments, continuing trusts and grants of three or more years, and angels who can provide generous contributions of some size over time. These are worthy goals, but again because time is short, every stage of our plan is vital, every stage is important, and every stage is ongoing.

Will we succeed? I think so. It has become so obvious our community cherishes the Aviary, and not only wants, but expect sus to succeed. It expects the Aviary to be around for its children, and its children's children.

Should the Aviary go away, it would be irreplaceable. The vision of those who built this jewel 28 years ago -- with private funds -- needs private help again, and so we come to you as your fellow citizens, a truly grassroots group of volunteers. Every dollar donated goes to the operations side of the Aviary.

I know you all share our concern and pride for the Aviary, and many of you have shared that pride through your kind donations. While we're not there yet, we will get there -- together.

Check out our website -- friendsofpioneerparkaviary.com -- look at our adopt-a-bird program, give what you can, go enjoy the Aviary. It belongs to all of us.

Craig Keister,
fundraising chairman
Friends of Pioneer Park Aviary
Walla Walla

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