News release from the Soarin’ Hawk Raptor Rehab:
World’s First Race 4 Birds Youth Event Scheduled for Fort Wayne Area
(August 28, 2014) – Teams of local children and young adults will participate in a Race 4 Birds event Sept. 13 at Franke Park to benefit Soarin’ Hawk Raptor Rehab.
The event is being conducted under the auspices of the newly formed Race 4 Birds Foundation, an Alexandria, VA-based global nonprofit devoted to promoting bird watching among young people. The local fundraiser, the first Race 4 Birds event of its kind, is being organized by Alexandra Forsythe, a 15-year-old northeast Indiana resident who is the Indiana Audubon Society’s Young Birder of the Year.
Forsythe is on the youth advisory board of the Race 4 Birds Foundation, which was founded by such dignitaries as internationally acclaimed author and photographer Richard Crossley; Bill Thompson III, editor of “Bird Watcher’s Digest;” and James Currie, host of the “Birding Adventures” television show.
Already, a number of organizations have stepped forward to sponsor the Sept. 13 event, including the Stockbridge Audubon Society, the Tippecanoe Audubon Society, ACRES Land Trust and Evergreen Remodeling.
Teams of young people 21 and under will meet at Franke Park’s Shoaff Lake at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 13 to spot as many bird species as possible. Prior to the event, they will collect pledges based on the number of species they see or simply flat-rate pledges for their participation. The event will eventually move to Fox Island County Park, where participants can see up close some of Soarin’ Hawk Raptor Rehab’s birds. The event ends about 1:30 p.m.
Door prizes will be awarded to participants, courtesy of Crossley, Currie, Thompson, authors Stan Tekiela and Joel Greenberg, and The Bird Seedery in Fort Wayne.
“This is not a competition, and you do not need to be an experienced bird watcher,” Forsythe said. “The only qualifications you need are to be 21 or younger, obtain pledges, and have a desire to help the magnificent raptors that Soarin’ Hawk rehabilitates and cares for.
“The event,” she said, “will give participants a chance to meet other young people and get out into nature and learn first-hand about the environment. Through it all, they’ll be participating in an event that will generate great interest in the international birding community.”
Lunch will be provided at the event and adult supervisors will be on hand, including Bob Walton of Huntertown, recognized as one of the top birders in the world.
People can register and get pledge forms by contacting Forsythe at 260.241.0134 or. Registration deadline is noon Sept. 12.
About Soarin’ Hawk Raptor Rehab
Soarin’ Hawk is an Allen County-based nonprofit that rescues, rehabilitates and releases injured, ill or orphaned birds of prey in northeast Indiana. The organization also conducts numerous educational presentations annually involving live raptors. Soarin’ Hawk’s chief mission is species and habitat preservation. More information about Soarin’ Hawk can be found at soarinhawk.weebly.com.