Beds and beds of roses greeted guests of the Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Rescue Center’s Get Wild! Summer Gala at the sprawling waterfront estate of hosts Joan and Bernard Carl, giving it the aura of a magical garden party. Linda and Ben Lambert, Jonathan McCann, and Ellen and Chuck Scarborough were Honorary Chairs. Virginia Frati is the longtime Executive Director of the Center, which, this evening honored Scarlett Magda, DVM and Carl Safina, PHD.
Longtime TV Award-winning animal advocate Jill Rappaport, who hosts Dog Bowl and Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet and is the spokesperson for Comcast’s Xfinity ‘pet filter’ camera feature, also lent her support. “When people think of animal rescue, dogs, cats and horses first to come to mind,” she told us. “But, our beautiful wildlife is often overlooked. And their situation is dire.”
“What’s not to love about this group?” her old NBC colleague and friend Chuck Scarborough asked. “It’s the only place on the eastern end of Long Island where you can take an injured or sick wild animal. They have a wonderful staff of volunteers who work around the clock to help animals that are victims of animal cruelty. We’re been encroaching steadily on the environment out here. We have to have some respect and regard for our fellow creatures. The least we can do is support an organization like this to look out for those who are injured, mostly by human account.”
“We’ve taken away their habitat, hit them with cars. I feel we owe it to them to give back,” Executive Director Virginia Frati elaborated. As the population on the East End grows, so does the Wildlife Center’s population. “We seem to be getting more animals than ever before,” she continued. “People used to think, let nature take its course. But, that’s not the thing to do, because nature didn’t get them into this predicament in the first place.” People mow over rabbit and turtle nests. Their cats attack wild birds. The Center is specially equipped to keep injured animals from becoming domesticated and reliant on people while they heal, even covering their eyes while being fed.
Those that cannot be released back into the wild get permanent homes on the Center’s several thousand acres from Tiana Bay to Peconic Bay, an irreplaceable ecosystem consisting of salt and fresh water wetlands, Pine Barrens, deciduous forest and meadowland.
Cheryl MacDougall was among the volunteers sporting an owl on her gloved hand for photo ops. “My husband and I brought her in with a badly broken leg,” she told us. “Her wing was broken and she can’t fly. So, she belongs to Rescue Center.”
This year’s GET WILD Summer Benefit sponsors included: Greater Houston Foundation, Linda & Ben Lambert , Jonathan McCann, Douglas Elliman of Long Island, Leslie Alexander, D. Porthault, Andrew Sabin Family Foundation, Susan Dusenberry, Rosalie Brinton, Howard Marton, Ellen & Chuck Scarborough, Ingrid & Thomas Edelman, Maryann & Bob Marston, Dayton, Ritz & Osborne, Winfield Foundation, Fiduciary Trust Co. International, Allison Maher Stern, Bill Schlegel, The Corcoran Group, World Wide Group, BNB, Town & Village Realty Services, Amy Molnar, Tundra Wolf, Audrey Gruss, Patricia Preu, Dr. Roberta J.M. Olson and Alexander B.V. Johnson, W. Dean Gomolka Landscape Design Corp., Hutchison Landscape Services Inc., Perry Gershon, Sony Schotland and Hamptons Employment Agency.
For more information, visit www.wildliferescuecenter.org.