Holiday shopping for creatures and a cause

Holiday shoppers who attended the Christmas Carousel Holiday Festival at Bay High School last month helped support the nonprofit Lake Erie Nature & Science Center through the annual Women’s Board fundraiser. Pictured here: Julie Russell and Sandy Wood at the “A Spirited Holiday” booth.

Who puts pine shavings, latex gloves or mealworms on a holiday shopping list? You – if you shop for the animals at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center. Throughout the month of December, the Center will collect holiday gifts for creature care.

Wildlife Rehabilitation Coordinator Amy LeMonds said the Center's "wish list" includes an unusual mix of items that meet specific animal care needs. "For example, every winter, we care for bats that are disturbed from hibernation," LeMonds said. "In order to nourish and keep the animals alive until their natural food sources return, we have a special need for insects like mealworms and crickets. We also go through hundreds of gallons of Dawn dish detergent- not only cleaning oiled animals- but also cleaning up after the animals." 

An updated in-kind donations “wish list” is posted on Lake Erie Nature & Science Center’s website at or available at the Center, 28728 Wolf Rd. in Bay Village. It includes gift cards that may earn you a bonus of "rewards points."

You can also help care for the animals and give a memorable gift to a loved one by “adopting” his or her favorite Center exhibit animal. Whether it’s the magnificent bald eagle or a cuddly bunny, you’ll receive a custom adoption certificate and, with an adoption of six months of more, your gift recipient's name will appear on the animal's exhibit.

A Center Membership (which includes planetarium passes), a Center gift certificate (redeemable for fun classes and programs) or a tribute donation in your loved one's name also make great holiday gifts that support the nonprofit mission of a treasured community resource.

"The support we receive during this season of giving is vital to our continued success and humbling, as well, because it demonstrates that so many people hold a strong belief in our educational mission," said Center Executive Director Catherine Timko. "We are grateful for each gift." 

Animal adoptions, memberships and tribute donations can all be made using online forms available on the Center's website at or by phone at 440-871-2900. Gift certificates require a stop at the Center.

Shawn Salamone is Community Relations Manager at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center.

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Volume 2, Issue 24, Posted 2:13 PM, 11.23.2010