Recently, I had the pleasure of being a guest at the quarterly board meeting of the Wildlife for Everyone Endowment Foundation (WFEEF). The meeting was held at the home of board member Jim Eckles of Beaver County, PA. What a dedicated group!
The purpose of WFEEF is to benefit the birds and mammals of Pennsylvania and their habitats by augmenting and complementing the work of the Pennsylvania Game Commission. The non-profit organization, headquartered in State College, PA has funded several wildlife projects around the state, including Seedlings for Schools, purchase of land for game lands 93, and improvements to the impoundment at Pymatuning Lake and Middle Creek Visitors Center.
By far, the biggest project the Foundation is tackling is the Wildlife Education and Research Center to be located near State College. The Center will serve as the keystone in the state for wildlife education and science. The state-of-the-art Center features a library, theatre, classrooms, biological labs, and interactive exhibits.
According to WFEEF literature, “The Center will be unique in that it will house offices and laboratories for 30 biologists whose research will provide educational opportunities for visitors to learn about the uniqueness of Pennsylvania’s diverse wildlife species that inhabit our state.”
Currently, most of the biologists work out of their homes and have makeshift equipment storage and must use other agencies’ laboratories. The Center will provide a way for the public to directly access the research findings of the biologists and gain more knowledge about wildlife management.
The Board of WFEEF, through its Capital Campaign, has provided a wonderful opportunity for sportsmen, conservationists and organizations to have their names become a permanent part of Center’s legacy through naming opportunities. For as little as $5,000, which can be paid in installments, a person or organization can have their name on an office or fireplace, forever linked to wildlife conservation in Pennsylvania.
For example, the Executive Director’s office could be named for the Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs, designated by a plaque on the wall similar to what Penn State does when it builds new facilities. It could also be named for a specific sportsmen’s club. There are also eight other offices that need names. In my imagination, just off the top of my head, I can picture the Audubon PA, The Wildlife Society, United Bowhunters of PA, Quality Deer Management Association, National Wild Turkey Federation, and Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation offices. The classroom naming opportunity is set at a $15,000 donation.
The lower level of the building will feature an archery/rifle range and a BB gun range, as well as laboratories for educational demonstrations and biological work. All these can be named for persons or organizations that donate to the Center.
It should be noted that WFEEF makes use of volunteers for much of their work and outreach. In-kind services such as this related to the building and maintenance of the Center may be credited towards the value of a contribution.
If you or your organization is interested in donating and having your name permanently linked to wildlife conservation, you may contact Jen Zaborney for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org or 717-602-1076. Contributions are tax-deductible as defined by the IRS regulations.
For more information about WFEEF, visit www.wildlifeforeveryone.org or call Peg Hosterman at 814-238-8139. – Roxane Palone