A wild night for wildlife

Styx raises money for local charity.

Fans of classic rock may have been excited to hear that the recently reunited group Styx (think 1970s-power-ballad fame) played Casino New Brunswick on Nov. 12.

What they might not have heard, however, is that Styx has chosen a local animal care centre for support through a fundraiser at their concert. Styx’s charity organization, Rock to the Rescue, has pledged a portion of the band’s profits to the Atlantic Wildlife Institute, an animal rescue and rehabilitation centre in Cookville, New Brunswick.

The band hopes to help raise money and awareness for the Institute by raffling an autographed guitar to a lucky fan. A visit to their property from Hannah Shaw (daughter of band member Tommy Shaw and head of Rock to the Rescue), has prompted a flurry of activity at AWI.

“This weekend we’ll be doing a lot of cleaning in preparation for the visit,” said volunteer Jenna Hinds. “We are hoping to bring together volunteers for a tree-planting day on Monday, Nov. 11.”

A Mount Allison University student, Hinds recently started working for the Institute. “I looked up AWI online and saw that they were looking for volunteers … I love volunteering there. It’s amazing to be able to interact with the animals and see how Pam and Barry treat and release them.”

A history of good relations between the institute and university has led to a number of art project donations and class trips to AWI, and has been beneficial for both organizations. A recent trip organized by Mt. A student Meagan Betts resulted in the successful planting of dozens of trees and shrubs for the institute.

Founded by Pam Novak and Barry Rothfuss in 1996, AWI has historically been supported by charitable donations from sources both large and small. Working out of a 120-acre conservation property outside of town, their rescue efforts focus on animals endangered by human encroachment. With a new learning centre completed in 2005, they have also been able to develop education and outreach programs, encouraging understanding and outdoor skill development in nearby community members.

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