Event pushes Walla Walla aviary fundraising near $30,000

That is about half the total needed for a year of operations at the Pioneer Park Aviary.

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WALLA WALLA -- A Pioneer Park Aviary fundraiser Saturday pushed efforts past the halfway mark of the $55,000 needed to keep the facility open in 2011.

The "It's for the Birds" fundraiser at the Walla Walla Elks Lodge on Saturday raised $12,500 through ticket sales and auctions, said Parks and Recreation Director Jim Dumont.

Prior to the fundraiser, Friends of Pioneer Park Aviary and the city had already raised $17,000, making the current total just shy of $30,000.

Money was also raised at the auction through the adopt-a-bird program, with about an eighth of the total aviary bird population of 200 birds getting sponsors.

Dumont also noted that the city is still receiving numerous unsolicited donations for the aviary.

"I am surprised. We are still getting about $400 a day in donations from just people sending checks to us. It is wonderful," Dumont said.

More than 200 people attended Saturday's event, where 17 live auctions and close to 200 silent auction items were bid on.

City officials are now working on developing a website that will allow people to adopt an aviary bird online.

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

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